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  JERRY HALL
STEPHANIE SEYMORE
MARC JACOBS
  ASIA ARGENTO
DENNIS HOPPER
ABEL FERRARA
BRIAN WILSON
WILL OLDHAM
DJ SPOOKY

Allison Folland, 1996

WITH CHRISTINA KELLY
PHOTOGRAPHED BY WOLFGANG TILLMANS



When 17-year-old Allison Folland appeared on screen in Gus Van Sant's To Die For, all curves (150 sexy and unself-conscious pounds), piercing stares and pouty lips, I thought, who is that fabulous girl? And where has this embodiment of teen confusion and wisdom been? Well, before she played inarticulate Lydia, the teenage delinquent who is used and abused by the wanna-be newscaster played by what's-her-name, she was in Massachusetts, being a teenager. After working with Van Sant, she's done two more movies: Before and After, a total piece of crap with Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson and little Eddie Furlong. She has a tiny part as the girlfriend Eddie's character kills with a carjack - by mistake! The best part of the movie is when the cops are searching Eddie's room and they find this fetching naked picture of Allison in his sock drawer. Then she just finished her first lead, All Over Me, which she filmed in New York. So she got to stay with her sister and miss school and wear blue nail polish.



ALLISON: Am I acting tired? I'm sorry.

CHRISTINA: What?
ALLISON: Am I acting really, like, exhausted?

CHRISTINA: No, no.
ALLISON: I'm a little sketchy.

CHRISTINA: I figured if you went to Don Hills, that you were out late. Is it going to be boring for you to go back to Boston after living in New York and everything?
ALLISON: Well, I have been back for two or three weeks. I just came back for the Murmurs show last night.

CHRISTINA: Have you lived there your whole life?
ALLISON: I live in Wellesley. Suburban Boston. I was born there.

CHRISTINA: What do your parents do?
ALLISON: My dad is, he's a doctor, he's a cardiologist. He teaches at U.Mass. And my mom is a sometime potter, mostly travel agent. Social worker, nurse. She's done, like, all the stuff.

CHRISTINA: How did you get into acting?
ALLISON: Well, I was in the plays at school and then?you mean, film acting?

CHRISTINA: Or just acting, in general?
ALLISON: Yeah, well, you know?

CHRISTINA: Since you were like five, or whatever?
ALLISON: No, no. I wasn't like a fanatic theater person or anything. I did plays at school. I always tried out for them, but I was like really big, I was really tall and didn't look my age. When I was 10 I looked like I was 12 or something.

CHRISTINA: How did you make the transition into being a professional actor?
ALLISON: I was in a play at school and then drama teacher there - we got this like awesome drama director at our school. He's like really creative, just so funny physically, what he does with his body and stuff. There's like a casting agent down the street in Harvard Square. Sometimes they call our school if they're looking for fresh faces, and so, he talked to a friend of mine and me about trying out for this. It was just for the fun if it basically, and I just went to it and got the role in To Die For.

CHRISTINA: So did you feel, when all this was going on - I mean, had you seen Gus Van Sant's movies?
ALLISON: Yeah, I had. So I was really excited about that, but I was really kind of bewildered. I didn't know what I was doing. I was going to be around a bunch of people who knew what they were doing and all that.

CHRISTINA: What was it like when you first met him?
ALLISON: Well, he took this picture of me. Like, he takes pictures of everyone that comes into his offices, with this little black and white Polaroid. He just took this random picture of me, it was really unexpected, so he gets these really goofy expressions on people's faces. And then I read for him and we had a short little talk, like small talk about school or something.

CHRISTINA: How did your parents react when you said you were going to be in this movie? Did they want you to do it or?
ALLISON: Um-hm, yeah. I think they were just sort of shocked, too. It was just like really incredible, just really weird, what was happening. So, yeah, I think they were into it too. My parents have always been really supportive of my sister and me in terms of doing what we want to do. They're not like lenient or anything. They don't just let us go. But they have always let us, they have always completely bent over backwards..But yet my mom is not, like, a stage mother or anything. She's not pushy at all. She doesn't really care. But like she's, I guess, wants me to do what I want to do, which is really nice.

CHRISTINA: Did being in the movie change the way you thought about acting? Did you start thinking in terms of wanting to be a professional?
ALLISON: I guess not. Because when I got off the movie, I really didn't want to do anything again.

CHRISTINA: Why?
ALLISON: Because it just exhausted me. I just wanted to be home with my friends.

CHRISTINA: What was your idea of your character? Did that come from you or from Gus?
ALLISON: Basically from me. He didn't really do a lot of character work or anything. He was really, with me at least, pretty silent about what he wanted me to be doing. But if it just wasn't working after a few takes, then he would start instructing me. But usually he would just, like, let people do what they wanted.

CHRISTINA: What were you trying to do with your character?
ALLISON: There's a part of me that could be like that, and I have been like that at points in my life, so I just kind of worked on that.

CHRISTINA: What part of yourself?
ALLISON: The part of yourself that tells yourself to shut up all the time. I've had times when I feel like I simply can't interact with people. I don't know what to say when they speak to me. And I just tried to get myself in that place.

CHRISTINA: Have you ever been to Hollywood?
ALLISON: No. I really don't care to go at all. It seems like everyone lives and breathes movies in L.A. Movie life doesn't seem enough like real life. I can't imagine myself submerged in it. It takes too much out of me. It takes me awhile to get out of character.

CHRISTINA: Right.
ALLISON: After I did To Die For I kind of was depressed when I came back home for awhile. I couldn't get myself out of this low self-esteem thing I had gotten into. And, you know, probably just from doing that so much, from playing it so much, it gets you in kind of a hole, you know.

CHRISTINA: Do you have a boyfriend?
ALLISON: Yes. His name is Japser. He goes to my school.

CHRISTINA: How long have you been going out?
ALLISON: Two years.

CHRISTINA: Two years?
ALLISON: Yeah. A really long time?well, for teenagers.

CHRISTINA: What does he think about your career?
ALLISON: He thinks it's really interesting. He's just curious all the time, asking me stuff. And I think worries about me sometimes?I don't know, lately, he's been more prone to say stuff like "you're acting like a prima donna, you little this and that," you know. But it's mostly in jest. But if I worry if he thinks that, like he thinks I might change, you know.

CHRISTINA: Do people view you differently at school now?
ALLISON: They always ask things like, did you kiss Matt Dillon?

CHRISTINA: I always had a crush on Matt Dillon.
ALLISON: Yeah, he's a cutie.

CHRISTINA: Does it bother you when you miss school?
ALLISON: No.

CHRISTINA: Are you not that into school?
ALLISON: It's like, I like it, but I don't like going to school. I like learning some of the stuff that I learn. I mean, it was hard coming back, though. It's always so hard going back because you're two weeks behind. You haven't seen these people in awhile. You feel kind of isolated. Happy to see them, but at the same time, like, you've been through something just completely different than they have. And they can never really know exactly what I did and what I was going through. But I have a few good friends at school.

CHRISTINA: What's All Over Me about?
ALLISON: It's about these two best friends. I'm in love with her. She lives in Hell's Kitchen and she's got this boyfriend who's really violent. And it's just about a falling out, and my character finding a new definition for herself.

CHRISTINA: Was it hard for you to explore that part of your sexuality?
ALLISON: No.

CHRISTINA: No?
ALLISON: I had a good time.

CHRISTINA: What was it like to pose nude for that picture in Before and After?
ALLISON: Well, that's very?I forgot about that.

CHRISTINA: You did?
ALLISON: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: Did you have any qualms about that at all?
ALLISON: Not really. I mean, is it like a full screen picture?

CHRISTINA: It's sexy, like a profile.
ALLISON: Yeah. I remembered what it looked like, but is it little on the screen, or is there a close-up?

CHRISTINA: They go in kind of close, but it's not like it fills the screen.
ALLISON: I really didn't think anything about it. It wasn't like I was actually naked. Well, I mean, I was naked but I wasn't doing, like, action naked. It wasn't like I was fucking him on screen.

CHRISTINA: Would you do a scene like that?
ALLISON: I don't know. I guess if it seemed in the movies is like?in some movies the sex is really stupid and really, I'm not going to say gratuitous, but just silly, you know. I don't know (laughing) I'm sorry. I guess I would, you know. It depends on the scene.

CHRISTINA: Do you have plans for another movie right now?
ALLISON: No, I'm just living high school life and everything. I don't really have an urge yet.

CHRISTINA: Have you turned anything down?
ALLISON: You mean, gotten the part and turned it down?

CHRISTINA: Yeah.
ALLISON: No.

CHRISTINA: Do you have a dream role or an actor or a director you'd like to work with?
ALLISON: No.

CHRISTINA: No?
ALLISON: I mean, I can't imagine, like, what would be the most fun.

CHRISTINA: Don't you play ice hockey?
ALLISON: Sort of. I try. I just played last year because I didn't want to do the musical, and you have to do a sport. It was really embarrassing actually. I mean, I had never been on hockey skates before in my life. Its like the big sport, though, in Massachusetts.

CHRISTINA: Is it a girl's team, or co-ed?
ALLISON: It's a girl's team, which is rare. Most schools don't have girl's teams. I thought that was so cool, you know, it's like, hell, I got to join. It's so much fun. So fast.

CHRISTINA: Does it ever get violent?
ALLISON: Actually, yeah, I guess it does get violent. Like, there's a lot of stick shoving up your crotch.

CHRISTINA: Playing dirty?
ALLISON: Yeah, some people get dirty, tripping and stuff. It's not like the guys do. I don't think you're allowed to do that, in our league at least.

CHRISTINA: Are you going to play this year?
ALLISON: No, I think I'm going to try out for the musical. If I don't make it, I guess I'll do it again.

CHRISTINA: Why didn't you want to do the musical last year?
ALLISON: Because I don't like musicals. There's not a lot of musical music that I actually like. I always think it's kind of corny and stuff, and I though it would be more fun to do a sport. I had a good time but, I don't know?I just kind of feel possessed to do the musical.

CHRISTINA: Can you sing?
ALLISON: Sort of?yeah. I can carry a tune.

© index magazinegelatin1
Allison Folland by Wolfgang Tillmans, 1996
© index magazinegelatin1
Allison Folland by Wolfgang Tillmans, 1996
Copyright © 2008 index Magazine and index Worldwide. All rights reserved.
All photos by index photographers: Leeta Harding, Richard Kern, David Ortega, Ryan McGinley, Terry Richardson, and Juergen Teller