6:00am PT by Chris Gardner
Billie Lourd on Life, Acting and New Year's Resolutions
Billie Lourd loves trying new things.
It doesn't matter if that means traveling, food, fashion, you name it. But, up first in 2018, that up-for-adventure-attitude has landed her on a panel of judges for the 3rd annual Moët Moment Film Festival, an initiative from one of the premiere sponsors of the Golden Globes that calls for 21+ filmmakers to submit 30-60-second films through the end of awards season (March 15), when 10 finalists will be selected. Though the public will pick a People's Choice winner, the judges — Lourd alongside Laura Dern, Anke Hofmann (HFPA), Kisha Imani Cameron (Ghetto Film School), Leslie Urdang (Mar-Key Pictures), Sharon Badal (Tribeca Film Festival) and Violaine Etienne (Serial Pictures) — handle first, second and third place.
Lourd tells The Hollywood Reporter that she's stoked ("shocked, actually") about her new gig. And, really, she just seems happy to be staring down a brand new year after closing 2017 out on an emotional high, starring opposite her late mother, Carrie Fisher, in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. But as that Rian Johnson-directed film was breaking records left and right at the box office, Lourd was far away in the Netherlands with her father visiting the Northern Lights as a tribute to Fisher on the one-year anniversary of her passing. (Check out her Instagram post about the trip here.)
THR caught up with Lourd by phone just before New Year's Eve while she was in Copenhagen continuing her holiday travels to talk about the new champagne-infused job, her long-term career aspirations and why she's so intent on living a spontaneous life.
Why did you decide to sign on for the 3rd annual Moët Moment Film Festival?
I am beyond honored — I'm shocked, actually — that I've been chosen as a judge. It's amazing. When I found out about the film festival, I just thought it was so cool and so incredible. I don't think there are enough programs like this for kids. The submissions people have to make are about living life spontaneously. I'm all about living life spontaneously. Life is short and I know that well. It's important to (live that way).
What kind of judge will you be?
I'm a combo between Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell. These filmmakers are young and creative and they're supposed to take risks and make mistakes, so you have to accept that and I will. So maybe I'll be more like Randy Jackson.
You're on the Moet Moment Film Festival judges panel with Laura Dern, your co-star in The Last Jedi. What's your relationship like with her? And have you talked to her about the festival?
I have not talked about it but I am so excited to see her. We had such a great time on the movie. I knew her as a kid, and said hi to her at parties. Probably pretending like I knew her, like every kid does at their parents' parties. We got to know each other really well on this film. She's such a brilliant, kind, amazing woman and I'm so glad that we got to do [The Last Jedi] together. That movie is so jam-packed with incredible, strong women. That's how life should always be.
Since Moet is the sponsor, tell me, are you a champagne person? What's your go-to celebratory drink?
I love a glass of champagne. Pinkies out — always. And bellinis over mimosas!
I interviewed Bryce Dallas Howard last year about her work on the Moet Moment Film Festival, and she said it was a helpful experience as she was eyeing a move behind the camera. Are you interested in doing work behind the camera at all someday— either directing or producing?
Absolutely. All of the above! I write and started to make shorts. Honestly, these kids are going to inspire me. I definitely want to direct and write — all of it. It's been so great being on American Horror Story and Scream Queens because there were some days when I didn't work and I would spend my time shadowing directors.
Do you have a game plan for when you want to write or direct?
Hopefully sooner rather than later. That's why working for Ryan [Murphy] was so amazing. Obviously he is a god and king of my world, and Ryan has this incredible foundation, the Half Foundation, to create equal opportunities for women and minorities. His sets are just more open. I was able to shadow people like Barbara Brown, a script supervisor on Glee who is now directing, and she's this seriously incredible woman. I also shadowed Bradley Buecker, one of the main directors and he's incredible. The whole crew, really, it's a family and people all learn from each other.
In terms of acting, is there a particular type of role that you are looking to do next? A director or showrunner you want to work with?
No one in particular, really. I always love trying new and different things. I want to keep challenging myself, doing something different than I've ever done before.
Every day it seems there is a new box-office record for The Last Jedi. How closely do you keep tabs on how well the film is doing?
I try to stay away from it, honestly. The fans are so incredible that they are the ultimate family for me; they've all been there for me. They have been really fulfilled by the movie, which was such a great and surreal experience for me. So numbers are less important. It's more about the feelings and joy for me.
I'm curious, have you snuck into any of the screenings of The Last Jedi, just to see how people are responding to it? Did you do that at all for this or The Force Awakens? Can you even get away with that?
I can totally get away with it — no one knows who I am. I am free at this point. Well, unless I have my hair in buns or braids. My mom and I did try to go for Force Awakens. She did a thing at Comic-Con at the screening of Scream Queens. She showed up with mismatched socks and hadn't brushed her hair, and she tried to get in, but everyone was like, "There's Carrie Fisher!" She turned to me and was like, "I just want to watch Scream Queens." We tried to do the same thing with The Force Awakens, but no chance.
One fashion question: I see that you work with stylist Jamie Mizrahi, who styled you in a glittery Tom Ford for The Last Jedi premiere. What is your collaboration like? What do you look for when getting dressed for the red carpet?
The Tom Ford look was very thought out. I also wore Tom for the Star Wars Celebration, the first public appearance after she passed. One was dedicated to the classic white dress she wore and the other, a nod to her hologram dress. Jamie and I thought about both for a little bit. We have so much fun together, Jamie and I. And I've been having such a good time with Tom. He's so fun to collaborate with. It's always fun to take risks.
This Moet judging panel will be your first gig in 2018. If you had to set an intention — or even resolution — for the rest of the year, what would it be? Can be personal or professional.
I've got a list. I'm a big list person. I've got a list of things to work on in the new year but it all comes down to the basics of keep moving forward, stay positive and do more for other people. To put it simply.