Liz Phair goes from sex to sets, writing the sound track to ‘People Like Us’

“What th f— happened to her?” Liz Phair rocks the red carpet.

Liz Phair might not be used to the luxuries of promoting a major motion picture.

“Can I steal a water? I lost mine somewhere along the way,” she asks, noticing a tray of drinks on a side table in a suite at the Four Seasons.

“This is so much easier than my normal life. I love this. Rock ‘n’ roll is, like, way worse,” she confides. “If I were doing any kind of stuff gearing up for a release, it would be like phoners to death, just on and on and on.”

After nearly three decades in the rock world, Phair finds herself in Hollywood for the first time, penning “Dotted Line,” the closing track for Alex Kurtzman’s “People Like Us.” Writing for a movie was new territory for Phair — and that’s just how she likes it.

“I felt like I’d stumbled into something where I was out of my depth, which is my favorite thing,” she says. “I throw myself into the deep end of the pool all the time, but it’s always scary.”

Kurtzman approached Phair early on in the process.

“Alex called me in almost a year and half before it was finished,”?she says. “He said that he’d been listening to my music when he was trying to write the character of Frankie [played by Elizabeth Banks], and that my rock persona helped him get into her. And damned if he didn’t hit every one of my issues in the film.”

Phair says seeing an earlier version of the movie at a Dreamworks screening room was a monumental event.

“I bawled my eyes out in a dark room with these two men who were completely unmoved — they were like, ‘We should start this shot sooner,’” she says. “Not like kind of weeping at the end of a nice movie, I mean like wracking sobs. And I’m repressing like you would a cough in the opera. I was terrified when they turned the lights on because I was out of tissues, and they were going to turn around and be like, ‘What the f– happened to her?’”

Beautiful and broken

“People Like Us” follows two adults (Banks and Chris Pine) as they discover that they are half-siblings after their father, a successful rock producer, passes away. And that character, who looms over the story without actually being in it, is a familiar one to Phair.
   
“There are so many broken people in music, but they’re doing something beautiful with that brokenness,” she says. “Sometimes my life is so straight and clean that I like that I’m part of that tribe and I get to go and dip in and be bad and dirty. Sometimes I take a lot of pride in that, but I think at the essence you’re dealing with artists. I mean, I wonder what the life expectancy is for musicians. I’d like to put it against cops and firemen. People die, it’s not a joke to a lot of people. And I think to make a song out of your pain or to do something like that, it’s kind of noble. Music is littered with broken people, but who isn’t slightly broken? And not everyone makes something out of it.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…