An actress who takes her cues from Sharon Stone, Parker Posey, and Dr. Dre

Alexis Dziena: an actress who takes her cues from Sharon Stone, Parker Posey, and Dr. Dre

Sarah Cristobal

At one time, the only roles Alexis Dziena could get were the sort of bright, pristine parts that are the stock and trade of Lifetime movies. “I always played the good girl,” says the 21-year-old New York City native.

But it would seem that streak has ended, as Dziena has recently added a veritable laundry list of more complex characters to her resume: She plays a “mean girl” in the upcoming big-screen version of Amy Sedaris’s cult Comedy Central series, Strangers with Candy; “an evil cheerleader” in the quarter-life-crisis comedy Pizza; and “a rich wannabe gangster” in documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple’s first dramatic feature, Havoc. But it’s her role in Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers that could cause the biggest stir. The film, which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, stars Bill Murray as Don Johnson, an aging Iothario on a road trip to visit his past loves. Dziena plays the flirty daughter–aptly named Lolita–of one of Johnson’s former flames (played by Sharon Stone). In one scene, Dziena even loses her clothes in order to gain his attention. “It was a lot scarier in concept,” admits the actress. “I think it was the first time that Jim had shot anything like that, so it was kind of all our first times.”

It looks like Dziena is in for a slew of firsts. Because of her role in the new primetime alien drama Invasion, the actress has had to move from New York to Los Angeles. “I have to find an apartment and a car and everything–which is really overwhelming,” she says. Now that she’s so far from her hometown, Dziena seems readier than ever to leave behind her once immaculate persona. She laughs: “I guess as I’ve gotten older I’ve blossomed into my evilness.”

Sarah Cristobal last wrote about Sunny Mabrey in the May issue.

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