First & Last: Carrie Brownstein

First & Last: Carrie Brownstein

The Sleater-Kinney vocalist and Portlandia star talks The Deer Hunter, good authors and Chris Lapine

First record you ever bought
I think it was Michael Jackson’s Thriller – I don’t know if I bought it or maybe my parents bought it for me but that was defintiely one of the first records that was mine and not one of my parents’.

Last extravagant purchase you made
Saint Laurent high heels.

First film you saw that really moved you
Probably something like The Deer Hunter – one of those 70s auteur films.

Last lie you told
It was probably to get out of hanging out because I was tired. Just a small lie about not feeling well.

First movie you ever went on a date to
Probably a bad comedy. I really don’t remember.

Last time you cried
Four days ago, from exhaustion. I ususally just cry when I’m tired – it feels like a release.

First thing you do when you’ve got time off work

Last great meal you cooked
I never cook! I’ve never made a great meal.

First crush
This guy named Chris Lapine. I still have his address memorised because I would say it over and over again in my head and then bicycle over to his house when I was a kid, just ride by it. I was probably 12.

Last book you read
Richard Ford’s Canada.

First great piece of advice you were given
To not care what other people thought.

Last time you were star struck
I went to the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in Washington. I’m always starstruck by authors and politicians. Just seeing Obama – and the First Lady, Michelle Obama – just seeing them from a distance left me pretty starstruck.

First thing you’d do if you ran the country
Try to end poverty.

Last meal on earth – what would it be
The kind of food I’d eat as a kindergartener – probably just pizza.

First song you’ll sing at karaoke
Oh, I really don’t like karaoke.

Last time you exploited your position to get something
No restaurants in Portland take reservations so occasionally I’ll try and get a reservation. It doesn’t always work.

First time you realised you were famous
When my grandparents were able to tell their friends about me and their friends already knew.

Last time someone criticised your work
Oh, that would be myself. I criticise it every second of every day, so there’s no shortage of that.

First three words your friends would use to describe you
Intense, anxious and … hopefully they would also say that I was kind, which is the only one I care about.

Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it
Sometimes if I’m travelling, I’ll do this thing where I go into a drugstore or a Target, and I’ll just kinda walk aimlessly through the aisles and I’ll buy miscellaneous lotions and make-up products and just kinda extraneous, superfluous items. It’s not extravagant financially, but it’s extravagant in terms of the number. It’s a copious amount of items. And then I regret that because I realise, these are items that I’m going to throw away.

First concert you ever attended

Last time you bought someone flowers
I bought flowers this last year for someone’s mother’s birthday.

First object you’d save from your burning home
They’re not objects but I’d definitely try to save my dogs. But I do consider them not objects.

Last funny thing you saw online
That’s hard because there’s always just strange, funny things online. Oh, I know – there were pictures of these dogs that had been painted [for a canine grooming show in the States]. It was kinda funny-slash-awful – I think a lot of things that are funny on the internet give you that reaction that they’re funny and sad at the same time, and this was definitely that.

First job
At a movie theatre.

Last person you fantasized about
I think James Franco, I don’t know why. I don’t mean like a ‘fantasy’ fantasy, but every time I see him in a movie, I think, ‘James Franco: very handsome.’

First word you spoke
I actually don’t know. I know I made up a lot of words as a kid for things I didn’t know, like most children. Like ‘bye-bye toast’ – I think that was just like, peanut butter on bread. But I’m assuming my first word was ‘mom’ or ‘dad’. No-one’s confirmed that for me!

Last crime you committed
Probably inadvertently having something in my food cart that I didn’t pay for. I’m not really a criminal.

First song at your (potential) wedding
I don’t really believe in marriage, so I don’t think I’ll be playing any songs at any weddings.

Last song at your funeral
Maybe some song by Queen – maybe they could just play the whole album, The Game.

First person you’d thank in an award acceptance speech
My father.

Last thing you recommended to someone
I feel like I’m often recommending authors – like if someone hasn’t read like, Joan Didion or James Thurber. Lorrie Moore was someone I recommended recently.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning
That I didn’t sleep enough. I have a kind of an issue with insomnia right now.

Last thing you think of before you go to sleep
Some sort of stressful job thing, which is probably why I’m not sleeping. Some kind of task that I need to be doing – I have a giant to-do list in my head, so that’s the last thing I’m thinking of.

Series 2 of Portlandia is out now on DVD.

We can pickle that (Portlandia)

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