"Technically, as an actor, Lili Taylor has no peer. She is flawless. No other American actor her age can touch her." - Emir Kusturica, director Arizona Dream
"Lili's both extremely serious and extremely unserious—which is what gives her so much depth. She comes prepared, but there's always something subversive and impulsive about her." - David Duchovny (The X-Files), in Entertainment Weekly
Her manner suggests a genuineness that we instantly relate to, yet it is her mysterious charm that makes her seem at once so ordinary and so extraordinary. Unquestionably one of the most gifted actresses of her generation, her onscreen presence summons you on a contemplative journey—or one of intrepid lunacy—while always exhibiting an uncanny knack for playing any character with haunting precision. Lili Taylor has achieved remarkable success, recognition, and praise for her wide spectrum and talent on film, stage, and television.
A Chicago native and one of six children, she took to the stage by the time she was in 6th grade and found herself at the Piven Theatre Workshop, sharpening her acting skills. Moving to New York, after a brief time in college, Ms. Taylor became a member of Naked Angels—a theatre collective—and soon formed her own theatre company, Machine Full, where she made her directorial debut with "Halcyon Days". Although predominantly a film star, her love for stage has never diminished and has made her career richly layered with roles in "Humana Festival", "Aven U Boys", the Broadway version of Chekov's "Three Sisters", and the Off-Broadway "The Dead Eye Boy"—a role that garnered rave reviews for her incendiary performance.
It has been said that Lili Taylor likes to "leave the heart of her talent if not unanalyzed then at least not over-rationalized." Her method is not to spawn a character as much as to listen for one to emerge. Ever since the uproarious drone of her "Joe" songs in Say Anything, audiences have been able to depend on Taylor for crafting an array of unpredictable and striking characters in such hits as Mystic Pizza, Short Cuts, Born on the Fourth of July, Ransom, Dogfight, The Haunting, High Fidelity, Pecker, The Addiction, and Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle.
Lili Taylor's deep commitment to her work finds filmmakers far and wide seeking her incomparable talents and collaborative spirit-a spirit that has garnered her many awards. Ms. Taylor's accolades include the Blockbuster award for Best Supporting Actress in Ransom, an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress in Household Saints, and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for The X-Files. In 1995, she was awarded the first ever Special Grand Jury Prize for Acting at the Sundance Film Festival, recognizing her for her incredible work in the three films, Cold Fever, Girls Town (which she also co-wrote), and Mary Harron's seminal film, I Shot Andy Warhol, in which Ms. Taylor gave an explosive performance as the half brilliant, half crazy Valerie Solanas.
A master of the bewildered, shattered, nave, insecure, and bitterly comical, Lili Taylor graces each role she assumes with arresting wisdom and passion. A consummate artist and humanist, there is not better word to describe her than maverick. Please join Cinequest and Lili Taylor for an incredible afternoon as we glimpse a breathtaking view of her career and present her with Cinequest's Maverick Spirit Award. - Mike Rabehl