Brittany Murphy - Life, Interrupted

Posted on 21. Dec, 2009 by in News

by Jason Dean

During a break on a Maxim photo shoot in 2001, Brittany Murphy suddenly exclaimed, “Come on, everybody, have fun! Think butterflies and lollipops and surfer girls and American flags!” She clapped her hands as the words flowed from her sinewy frame, her physical composure maintained by a stylist who was taming her tresses. There is no audible reaction on the set, but you can almost hear an awkward glance or two.

Watching the waifish actress in her moment of goofy, stream-of-consciousness abandon, I am reminded of why I found her so winsome. It takes a certain quirk of personality to reveal unguarded, in-the-moment exuberance without coming off like an indulgent twit. And Murphy, who displayed her talents in a variety of film, music, and voiceover projects in the years following her memorable screen debut in 1995’s Clueless, did it with aplomb.

In 1999, Murphy was brilliant in Girl, Interrupted, while playing third fiddle to Oscar winner Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder. Two years later, her creepy/quivery refrain “I’ll never tell” was the sound bite to the Michael Douglas thriller Don’t Say a Word. From November 2002 to August 2003, Murphy careened from being Eminem’s main squeeze (8 Mile) to Ashton Kutcher’s wife (Just Married) to Dakota Fanning’s babysitter (Uptown Girl). It’s enough to tire a girl out—or make her want to get real high (a popular suspicion, judging by some of the Internet commentary on her disheveled appearance and spotty behavior in recent years). Indeed, Murphy copped to doing a copious amount of “research” for her role as a druggie in 2003’s Spun.

Murphy’s voice has made the rounds as well. The Atlanta native contributed her native drawl as King of the Hill trailer trash hottie Luanne Platter for 13 years. She supplied the vocals on Paul Oakenfold’s 2006 dance hit, “Faster Kill Pussycat.” And she voiced a character in the animation flick, “Happy Feet,” for which she also sang Queen and Earth, Wind, and Fire covers. “I like singing, because I can act while I’m doing it,” she once said.

Later on during the memorable photo shoot that opens this story, Murphy recites a verse during a break in the action:  “Here’s to the girl with the little red shoes. She smoked her smokes and drank her booze. She ain’t got her cherry but that’s no sin; she’s still got the box that her cherry came in.” Now and forever an iconic blend of beauty and tragedy, Brittany Murphy is the lingering trace of cigarette smoke that my eyes want to follow to the point of evaporation.

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One Response to “Brittany Murphy - Life, Interrupted”

  1. Alexander Jensen

    08. Jan, 2010

    Just watched the Maxim photo shoot from in 2001.
    Then googled “butterflies and lollipops” and your site came up. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply to this comment

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