Bijou Phillips confronts 30, battles a volcano for her dream wedding
The daughter of the Mamas & the Papas singer John Phillips has been working consistently for more than 15 years -- a model in New York, a singer on tour with Lilith Fair, a big-screen flower child in Hollywood.
But as she turns 30 this month, Phillips seems to be settling into a new skin -- broadening her character horizons, planning a wedding to longtime partner Danny Masterson and enjoying the simple things, like hanging out in her barn.
We caught up with Phillips while she was promoting her new movie "Wake," currently out on DVD, her first major attempt at a romantic comedy. She plays Carys, a sparky blond with a penchant for attending funerals in attempts to feel sadness.
"When I was younger, I thought characters like that weren't as serious. I ended up working harder on ['Wake'] than I did on something like 'Bully,'" she said.
"I thought the death themes were really interesting -- yes she's damaged and dark -- but you can totally see Molly Ringwald doing that."
The 2001 film "Bully," with its breakout role for Philips, is the darker fare she's been known for -- witness her Lolita-type turn with Jeff Bridges in "The Door in the Floor" and her work in Eli Roth's "Hostel: Part II."
Ian Somerhalder played Phillips' romantic lead in "Wake," but real-life love Masterson played her best friend, pining away with unrequited love.
"That's how I like to keep him, pining," she laughed. The pair got engaged in March 2009, but their wedding plans fell victim to volcanic ash.
"I was going to get married in Iceland, but then it blew up. That volcano! We have to kind of postpone everything," she said. ...
"So now Danny's shooting a pilot in North Carolina. It's hard for two actors to set a date, because a movie will come up or something, but it's harder not to date another actor. He totally gets it; he's like, 'I'll see you in a few months.'"
Phillips has just shot a pilot for Fox from the creators of "My Name Is Earl," and though consistent work in television is "a better paycheck," she's appreciating normal life.
"I have two horses, and I ride every day. I spend a lot of my time in the barn," she said.
You could always say "I do" out there, Bij.
-- Matt Donnelly
Photo: Bijou Phillips in 2008. Credit: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times