Interview with Lisa Jakub, author of You Look Like That Girl
08 Jul 2015
Tell us a little bit about your new release, You Look Like That Girl.
The book is a memoir about my unusual childhood growing up working in the film
industry. I appeared in more than forty TV shows and films, such as Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day, Matinee, Rambling Rose, as well as some super cheesy movies-of-the-week and a couple of projects that ended up entirely on the cutting room floor. Being on set was my life.
The book also chronicles my decision to retire from the film industry at the age of twenty-two, after an eighteen-year career. I realized that I didn’t want to be one of those stereotypical child actor cautionary tales. I had enjoyed acting for a while, but when I realized that my passion for the job was gone, it was time for something new. So, I left Los Angeles to search for a different path for myself.
It’s about the universal search for who we really are, and the challenges and rewards of living a life that feels authentic. We all struggle with how to live truthfully within the constraints and expectations of life. We all need to figure out who we want to be when we grow up.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I worked with Robert Duval when I was 11 year old and I absolutely adored him. He would just sit with me and talk about life and acting. He told me to never forget that “it’s only a movie.” He didn’t want me to get too caught up in the rollercoaster of the actor’s life. When I was thinking about leaving the film industry, and was worried that everyone would think I was crazy – I remembered his advice. It’s only a movie. There is so much more to life than just a job title, even if that job involves movies.
Do you listen to anything while you write? If so, what’s your audio of choice?
I prefer quiet when I write. But I am pretty much always serenaded by my dog snoring under my desk.
You now host a talk show (congrats). Who would be your first guest?
I have been completely enamored with Brené Brown lately. Her work on vulnerability and courage feels particularly relevant to me these days. Curling up with one of her books feels like grabbing a cup of tea with a particularly insightful best friend. I’d like to interview her and try to convince her to be my real life BFF.
Who is your favorite fictional character from literature?
This is such a fantastic question. It might be Owen from A Prayer For Owen Meany. Although I have a lingering crush on Theo from The Goldfinch.
How do you like to spend a rainy day?
Cuddled up on the couch with my husband, my dog and my books. Alternating reading with napping is the best way to spend any day.
Who was your childhood hero?
Nelson Mandela. I was pretty obsessed with South Africa when I was a kid. I still am, actually.
What’s on your writing desk?
Two plants, lip balm, a million scraps of paper with writing ideas scribbled on them and an essential oil diffuser.
What’s your favorite quote from You Look Like That Girl?
“To J, everyday” – the dedication to my husband.
(That’s my sweet answer. All my other favorite lines contain bad language.)
Do you have a favorite local bookstore we can give a shoutout to?
I love New Dominion Bookshop in Charlottesville, VA
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
I have a door in my office that is covered in my all of favorite quotes, so it’s hard to pick just one. But this one sums it up for me.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
― Howard Thurman
Connect with Lisa
“At the age of twenty-two, Lisa Jakub had what she was supposed to want: she was a working actor in Los Angeles. She had more than forty movies and TV shows to her name, she had been in blockbusters like Mrs. Doubtfire and Independence Day, she walked the red carpet and lived in the house she bought when she was fifteen.”
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Taylor loves books with a heavy dose of absurdity, hilarity, and beautiful prose. She is a marketer, adventurer, nature-lover, Hufflepuff, wannabe world traveler, and advocate of laughter.