Media Maverick Illeana Douglas

Posted on 16. Dec, 2009 by in Profiles

by Jen Kay

The sleepy eyes and sharp wit of Illeana Douglas defy the ingénue stereotype, but are unmistakably sexy. She has one of those immediately recognizable faces, not to be confused with another, one that seems like it was destined to be famous. Her features – offbeat, distinctive, feisty, and intelligent – seem to belie her personality. There is mischief in her intellect; she is a truly rebellious soul running rampant in the center ring of the collective international media circus.
Douglas has obviously misplaced her Hollywood rulebook, and has been self-cast in her current life as director, writer, producer, and lead actress. Not content to wait for ‘that next big part,’ she has single-handedly created her own brand. Longstanding one of Hollywood’s quirky indie darlings, Douglas has proved her inspiration and commitment with her choice of movie roles, and most recently by taking control over her creative destiny. Illeana’s savvy as an artist and businesswoman is impressive, and will no doubt serve as an inspiration to others looking to join the commercial art revolution.

Illeana Douglas and cast

The creator, writer, and lead actress of the web series, “Easy to Assemble”, Douglas gets in touch with her inner Swede. She plays herself, a celebrity-turned-IKEA-employee hired to add some Tinseltown glitz to the blanched Birchwood housewares Mecca. The series was in Season One, as Douglas puts it, “Kind of a throwback to Laugh In”, but Season Two has a noticeably more cinematic feel. Director Greg Pritikin has been brought on board, having met Illeana during the production of Dummy, and has proved a fitting director for this offbeat episodic.
When talking to Illeana about Hollywood, fame, and Swedish optimism, it isn’t difficult to ascertain what might have inspired her to take this uncharted absurd and artistic journey. “Hollywood cannibalized itself, in the sense that it started using celebrities until you kill them, like Anna Nicole, and now with Jon and Kate, it’s like we use them up, and the problem is, they’re not trained actors, they’re not trained spokespeople, they’re not trained in the arts, they have no vision. There actually was a reason actors and artists wanted to be in the arts. They didn’t go into the arts to become famous.”
“When people start utilizing people, using standards of manufacturing, like ‘let’s find cheap goods and sell them to the public and put bright shiny covers on them until we’re tired of them, then let’s destroy them. Let’s trash them like a car and then put a new shiny car in.’ I saw an advertisement last night for a show on TLC about a new family with 10 kids! And sometimes you go, ‘No! Please stop destroying people!’”
Illeana’s outspoken views on the inhumane aspect of reality television, and her intention of producing alternately talent-based content is not surprising; she is a writer, after all. Her passion is clearly contagious, with “Easy To Assemble’s” collection of well-known artist cameos: Cheri Oteri, Tim Meadows, Tom Arnold, Ed Begley, Jr., Kent Nichols, Douglas Sarine (Ask-A-Ninja), and a handful of others have lent their talents to Douglas’ home grown comedy.
Taking advantage of the unique production style, Illeana has hired on several thousand additional writers – the “Easy To Assemble” audience. Viewers of the show have a unique opportunity to decide key plot factors within the series. Season Two finds Illeana in a quasi-friendly rivalry with Justine Bateman for the coveted role of Employee of the Year. Douglas wouldn’t reveal the outcome of this Choose-Your-Own-Adventure twist, but seemed cautiously optimistic about her chances of winning.
Performing the music for the series is the Swedish band Spärhusen – “The Almost Great Band of the ‘70s.” Singer Beirget Kattsson could pass for Douglas herself, albeit in a platinum, cheap synthetic platinum blonde wig kind of way. Speaking on behalf of Spärhusen, Douglas reveals that manager “Bjorn Epstein is quite a controlling presence” over the band, but that such eccentricities must be tolerated for such a visionary.
Triumphing over adversity, Spärhusen members survived a devastating plane crash in the early ‘70s and after much speculation are back with a new record. The band is most well-known for their Swedish-centric singles, “Ice Fishing” and “Apples and Fish”, and are currently working with flamboyant producer Worste Feirron. Worste bears his own odd resemblance to actor Keanu Reeves, but is best known for his signature whale of sound.  As to what’s next for this unpredictable super group, Douglas’ guess is as good as any; she is simply grateful to have them on board. Satisfy your fix for all things Swedish and catch up with the Ikea crew on “Easy to Assemble”, and the new Web series “Spärhusen”, both of which premiered on October 8th

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2 Responses to “Media Maverick Illeana Douglas”

  1. ToddWilliamson

    16. Dec, 2009

    [youtube 9g91iImULkY&feature=fvsr youtube]

    Reply to this comment
  2. Faye

    17. Dec, 2009

    I loved her old nose. From an old friend, Faye

    Reply to this comment

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