Olivia Thirlby: ‘I’m a slut and proud of it’

Olivia Thirlby plays the lusty Martine in “Nobody Walks” — in theaters now.

In the indie drama “Nobody Walks,” Olivia Thirlby stars as Martine, a sensual young artist whose stay at a Los Angeles family’s home causes quite a bit of domestic strife. In the script, co-written by director Ry Russo-Young and “Girls” creator Lena Dunham, Martine’s sexuality is front and center. Or, as Thirlby puts it, “Martine is a slut.”

Before you get the wrong idea, Thirlby has a few things to say about that particular word. “I’m not a fan of slut-shaming. I use the term slut in a very sex-positive way. I’m a slut and proud of it. All women should be,” she says. “When it comes to Martine and Martine’s sexuality, which is a very specific thing that we focused on nailing — no pun intended — she doesn’t compartmentalize her sexuality.”

The role gave Thirlby a chance to examine a very modern take on sexuality — one that happens to jibe pretty closely with her own personal philosophy, as it turns out. “She’s comfortable with the notion of having sex with her friends, and I think that’s something that she does, and that’s something that’s pretty popular among the young kids these days,” she says with a laugh. “And it’s, I think personally, a very healthy view of sex. You have sex with your friends — why not? They’re trustworthy, you know them, you like them, you know? You have sex with your friends but then you’re still friends the next day.”

Of course, the rest of the world isn’t necessarily so open-minded. So is Thirlby worried about any criticism from those who don’t take depictions of empowered female sexuality well? “I mean, I can’t be worried about it,” she admits. “My character is very ambiguous, and I think that’s part of the movie — showing a complicated situation and showing people’s part, honestly, in it.”

Changing speeds

While she got her start in indie fare like “Juno,” Olivia Thirlby has been branching out, and this past year recently found her going from filming the action-packed comic book movie “Dredd” to the much smaller drama “Being Flynn” and then “Nobody Walks.” It was a transition, the actress admits, that had her worried.

“After ‘Dredd’ finished, I was having serious doubts about whether I could even act anymore after doing so much exposition and dialogue that is so rooted in the imaginary world,” she says. “That’s the hardest thing to sell. Saying stuff like, ‘God damn it, if I’m going to make it you’re going to make it too!’ and you’re talking about, like, aliens.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…