|Is||Actor Film actor Television actor Voice actor Television presenter|
|From||United States of America|
|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth||4 April 1979, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA|
Natasha Lyonne (born April 4, 1979), is an American actress, director, writer, and producer. She is best known for her role as Jessica in the American Pie series and her appearances in the films Everyone Says I Love You, Slums of Beverly Hills, But I'm a Cheerleader, and Blade: Trinity.
She also played Nicky Nichols in the Netflix comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black (2013–2019), for which she received a nomination for the 2014 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. She portrayed Nadia Vulvokov in the Netflix comedy-drama series Russian Doll (2019–present), which she also co-created, executive produces, writes, and directs. For Russian Doll, she received nominations for three Primetime Emmy Awards.
Natasha Lyonne was born as Natasha Bianca Lyonne Braunstein on April 4, 1979, in New York City, the daughter of Ivette (née Buchinger) and Aaron Braunstein, a boxing promoter, race car driver, and radio host, who was distantly related to cartoonist Al Jaffee.
Lyonne's parents were both from Orthodox Jewish families, and she herself was raised Orthodox. Her mother was born in Paris, France, to Hungarian Jewish parents who were Holocaust survivors. Lyonne sometimes darkly jokes that her family consists of "my father's side, Flatbush, and my mother's side, Auschwitz." Her grandmother Ella came from a large family, but only she and her two sisters and two brothers survived, which Lyonne credits to their blonde hair and blue eyes. Lyonne's grandfather, Morris Buchinger, operated a watch company in Los Angeles. During the war, he hid in Budapest as a non-Jew working in a leather factory.
Lyonne spent the first eight years of her life living in Great Neck, New York. Then she and her parents moved to Israel, where Lyonne spent a year and a half. Her parents divorced, and Lyonne and her older brother Adam returned to America with their mother. After this move back to New York City, Lyonne attended Ramaz School, also known as The Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein Upper School of Ramaz, a private Jewish school, where Lyonne said she was a scholarship kid who took honors Talmud classes and read Aramaic. She was expelled for selling marijuana at school. Lyonne grew up on the Upper East Side, where she felt she was an outcast. Her mother then moved their family to Miami, where Lyonne graduated from Miami Country Day School. Lyonne was estranged from her father, who lived on the Upper West Side until his death in October 2014 and in 2013 was a Republican candidate for City Council for the sixth District of Manhattan. Lyonne has said she is not close with her mother and has essentially lived independently of her family since age 16.
As a young child, Lyonne was signed by the Ford Modeling Agency. At the age of six, she was cast as Opal on Pee-wee's Playhouse, followed by film appearances in Heartburn, A Man Called Sarge, and Dennis the Menace. On working as a very young child actor, Lyonne said: "I didn't have the best parents. I don't think they are bad people. Even if they were ready to have children, it is kind of a wacky idea to put your child in business at six years old."
Lyonne made her New York stage debut in the award-winning New Group production of Mike Leigh's Two Thousand Years. Lyonne was in the original cast of the award-winning Love, Loss, and What I Wore, a play written by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron and based on the book by Ilene Beckerman. She received positive reviews for her performance in Kim Rosenstock's comedy, Tigers Be Still at the Roundabout Theatre Company: "a thorough delight in the flat-out funniest role, the grief-crazed Grace, so deeply immersed in self-pity that she has cast aside any attempts at decorum."
In 2011, Lyonne was in Tommy Nohilly's Blood From a Stone, from the New Group. Lyonne participated in New Group's benefit performance of Women Behind Bars in 2012.
On working in the theater: "There's something about theater that squashes the self-critical voices because you have to be in the moment. I'm glad that I didn’t do this before I was ready, before I was capable of showing up every day. That is not a skill set I had before."
At age 16, Lyonne was cast in the Woody Allen-directed Everyone Says I Love You (1996). This led to appearances in a variety of films over the next 10 years, including starring roles in the independent features Slums of Beverly Hills (1998), for which she received two Teen Choice Award nominations, and But I'm a Cheerleader (1999). During this time, she appeared as Jessica in the highly successful teen comedy American Pie (1999), reprising the role in two of its sequels. Lyonne's other films during this period included Detroit Rock City, Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby (both 1999), Scary Movie 2, The Grey Zone, Kate & Leopold (all 2001), Party Monster (2003), and Blade: Trinity (2004).
Lyonne's subsequent film appearances include All About Evil (2010), 4:44 Last Day on Earth (2011), Girl Most Likely, Loitering with Intent, Sleeping with Other People, Hello, My Name Is Doris, Addicted to Fresno, #Horror, Yoga Hosers, Antibirth, The Intervention, and Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie.
In 2019, she appeared in Shia LaBeouf's autobiographical film Honey Boy.
Lyonne has made guest appearances on the series Grounded for Life, Weeds, New Girl, Will & Grace, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Since 2013 she has appeared as Nicky Nichols in the critically acclaimed Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. The role is Lyonne's first television job as a series regular. She received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014, and has twice been awarded the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, along with her co-stars.
In 2014 Lyonne was cast in Amy Poehler's NBC comedy pilot Old Soul, directed by David Wain. In 2016 she began voicing the character Smoky Quartz on the Cartoon Network show Steven Universe. She has also appeared as various characters on IFC's sketch comedy series Portlandia. In 2018 she voiced the character Gaz Digzy on Adult Swim's comedy series Ballmastrz: 9009. She has voiced characters on The Simpsons and Netflix's Big Mouth.
Her performance in the 2019 Netflix series Russian Doll has been praised as "astonishing". Alan Sepinwall of Rolling Stone called it "brilliant". The series as a whole received 13 Emmy nominations including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Lyonne's performance as Nadia Vulvokov, and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.
Directing and producing
In 2017, Lyonne was approached by Kenzo's creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon to direct the 5th installment in their short film series. For this, her directorial debut, she began writing a script with Maya Rudolph in mind to star. The surrealist short film was titled Cabiria, Charity, Chastity and starred Rudolph, Fred Armisen, Greta Lee, Leslie Odom Jr. and Macaulay Culkin.
In September 2017, Lyonne's project Russian Doll was given an 8-episode straight to series order by Netflix. The comedy, co-created and executive produced by Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Leslye Headland, premiered on February 1, 2019. Lyonne has multiple roles in the series. She is credited as the lead actress and is one of the executive producers of the series with directorial and writing credits.
In 2018 Lyonne co-founded the production company Animal Pictures with Maya Rudolph.
Lyonne directed an episode of Orange Is the New Black for its seventh and final season, as an episode of Hulu's Shrill, "WAHAM". and an episode of High Fidelity titled "Weird...But Warm."
Lyonne lives in New York City.
During the early 2000s, Lyonne experienced legal problems and was arrested on a couple of occasions for driving under the influence of alcohol and for incidents involving her neighbors. In 2005, she was evicted by her landlord, actor Michael Rapaport, following complaints by other tenants about her behavior.
In 2005, Lyonne was admitted to Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan under a pseudonym, suffering from hepatitis C, a heart infection, and a collapsed lung; she was also undergoing methadone treatment. In January 2006, another arrest warrant was issued for her after she missed a court hearing relating to her prior problems. Her lawyer said an emergency had arisen, but did not give details. Later that year, Lyonne was admitted to the Caron Foundation, a drug and alcohol treatment center, and finally appeared in court. A judge sentenced her to conditional discharge.
Lyonne underwent open heart surgery to correct damage caused by her heart infection. She quickly recovered from the surgery, and discussed her past health problems on The Rosie Show in March 2012.
She has been in a relationship with actor/comedian Fred Armisen since 2014.
|1990||A Man Called Sarge||Arab Girl|
|1993||Dennis the Menace||Polly|
|1996||Everyone Says I Love You||Djuna "DJ" Berlin|
|1998||Slums of Beverly Hills||Vivian Abromowitz|
|1998||Krippendorf's Tribe||Shelly Krippendorf|
|1999||Detroit Rock City||Christine Sixteen|
|1999||Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby||Crystal "White Girl" Van Meuther||Also associate producer|
|1999||But I'm a Cheerleader||Megan Bloomfield|
|1999||The Auteur Theory||Rosemary Olson|
|2001||Fast Sofa||Tamara Jenson|
|2001||Scary Movie 2||Megan Voorhees|
|2001||American Pie 2||Jessica|
|2001||The Grey Zone||Rosa|
|2001||Kate & Leopold||Darci|
|2002||Comic Book Villains||Judy Link|
|2002||Zig Zag||Jenna the Working Girl|
|2002||Night at the Golden Eagle||Amber|
|2003||Die, Mommie, Die!||Edith Sussman|
|2005||Robots||Loretta Geargrinder (voice)|
|2005||My Suicidal Sweetheart||Grace|
|2008||Tricks of a Woman||Sally|
|2009||The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle||Tracy|
|2009||Running Away with Blackie||Motel Clerk||Short film|
|2009||Outrage: Born in Terror||Molly|
|2010||All About Evil||Deborah Tennis|
|2011||4:44 Last Day on Earth||Tina|
|2011||Night Club||Mrs. Keaton|
|2013||He's Way More Famous Than You||Herself|
|2013||Girl Most Likely||Allyson|
|2014||Loitering with Intent||Kaplan|
|2015||Addicted to Fresno||Martha Jackson|
|2015||Sleeping with Other People||Kara|
|2015||Hello, My Name Is Doris||Sally|
|2015||Bloomin Mud Shuffle||Jock|
|2016||Yoga Hosers||Tabitha Collette|
|2016||Darby Forever||The Baddest Girl||Short film|
|2016||Adam Green's Aladdin||Mom|
|2016||The Realest Real||Herself||Short film|
|2016||Jack Goes Home||Nancy|
|2017||Girlfriend's Day||Miss Taft|
|2017||Handsome||Det. Fleur Scozzari|
|2017||Cabiria, Charity, Chastity||Jules||Short film|
Also producer, writer, and director
|2018||A Futile and Stupid Gesture||Anne Beatts|
|2019||Honey Boy||Mrs. Lort|
|2019||Ad Astra||Tanya Pincus|
|2019||Uncut Gems||Boston Player Personnel (voice)|
|2020||Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics||Herself|
|2020||Irresistible||Tina De Tessant|
|2021||The United States vs. Billie Holiday||Tallulah Bankhead||Post-production|
|1986||Pee-wee's Playhouse||Opal||6 episodes|
|2000||Will & Grace||Gillian||Episode: "Girl Trouble"|
|2000||If These Walls Could Talk 2||Jeanne||Television film|
|2001||Night Visions||Bethany Daniels||Episode: "If a Tree Falls"|
|2002||Grounded for Life||Gretchen||Episode: "Relax!"|
|2007||The Knights of Prosperity||Female Co-Star||Episode: "Operation: Rent Money"|
|2009||Loving Leah||Esther||Television film|
|2011||New Girl||Gretchen||Episode: "Wedding"|
|2011||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Gia Eskas||Episode: "Educated Guess"|
|2013||NTSF:SD:SUV::||Mrs. Barbato||Episode: "Comic Con-Air"|
|2013–2019||Orange Is the New Black||Nicky Nichols||Main role; 81 episodes|
Directed episode: "The Hidey Hole"
|2015||Comedy Bang! Bang!||Katie||Episode: "Dax Shepard Wears a Heather Grey Shirt and Black Blazer"|
|2015||Sanjay and Craig||Chido (voice)||Episode: "Bike-o Psycho/Boulder Rollers"|
|2015–2016||Inside Amy Schumer||Various||2 episodes|
|2016||The $100,000 Pyramid||Herself||Episode: "Natasha Lyonne vs. Terry Crews"|
|2016–2019||Steven Universe||Smoky Quartz (voice)||3 episodes|
|2016–2019||The Simpsons||Sophie (voice)||3 episodes|
|2018–present||Ballmastrz: 9009||Gaz Digzy (voice)||Main role; 20 episodes|
|2018||Corporate||Gretchen||Episode: "Corporate Retreat"|
|2018||Animals.||VHS Copy of Can't Hardly Wait (voice)||Episode: "Stuff"|
|2018–2019||Big Mouth||Suzette (voice)||3 episodes|
|2019–present||Russian Doll||Nadia Vulvokov||Main role; 8 episodes|
Also producer, writer, and director
|2019||Documentary Now!||Carla Meola||Episode: "Long Gone"|
|2019||An Emmy for Megan||Herself||Episode: "New Minimum Length"|
|2019||Explained||Narrator (voice)||Episode: "Pirates"|
|2019||Steven Universe Future||Smoky Quartz (voice)||Episode: "Guidance"|
|2019||Cake||Gretchen||Episode: "Cache Flow"|
|2019||John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch||Herself||Television special|
|2020||Shrill||None||Directed episode: "WAHAM"|
|2020||Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens||Woman in Hair Salon||Episode: "Not Today"|
Directed episode: "Paperwork"
|2020||High Fidelity||None||Directed episode: "Weird... But Warm"|
|2020||Crossing Swords||Norah (voice)||Episode: "Eat Plague Love"|
|2003||"Way Out West"||Verbena|
|2015||"Lampshades on Fire"||Modest Mouse|
Awards and nominations
|1999||Chicago Film Critics Association Awards||Most Promising Actress||Slums of Beverly Hills||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Film – Funniest Scene||Nominated|
|Film – Breakout Performance||Nominated|
|2000||Young Hollywood Awards||Best Ensemble Cast||American Pie||Won|
|2014||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series||Orange Is the New Black||Nominated|
|2015||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Won|
|Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Actress||Antibirth||Nominated|
|2018||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Orange Is the New Black||Nominated|
|2019||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series||Russian Doll||Nominated|
|Outstanding Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Gotham Awards||Breakthrough Series – Short Form||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy||Nominated|
|Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Streaming Science Fiction, Action & Fantasy Series||Nominated|
|Best Actress in Streaming Presentation||Nominated|
|TCA Awards||Individual Achievement in Comedy||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Comedy||Nominated|
|Outstanding New Program||Won|
|Program of the Year||Nominated|
|2020||Writers Guild of America Awards||Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy||Nominated|
|Hugo Awards||Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form||Nominated|