All About Bijou Phillips

Bijou Phillips is an American actress, model and singer who hails from Greenwich, Connecticut. Born in 1980, Phillips inherited her parents’ love for the performing arts and soon rose to fame. At a mere thirteen years of age, she began modeling and blossomed from there on. Today Phillips has a solid filmography behind her and has graced the covers of some of the most popular magazines such as: Interview, Nylon, Playboy, Stuff and Vogue's Italian Edition.

Childhood

Bijou Lilly Phillips (April 1, 1980) was born to John Phillips, songwriter, singer and guitarist of the band The Mamas & the Papas, and Geneviève Waïte, a singer, actress and model from South Africa. Even from her early years, Phillips was always surrounded by celebrities who were friends of her parents. Notably, her godfather was the late Andy Warhol. Phillips learned how to ride horses as a child and is still involved in show jumping and equestrianism. When Phillips’ parents divorced, she lived for several years with her father in California, where he taught her how to play the guitar and write music. She was later placed in foster care and moved to New York City. In 2009, Phillips’ half-sister, Mackenzie Phillips, publicly announced that she had been involved in a consensual sexual relationship with her father when she was younger. Despite all the controversy that surrounded these claims, Bijou Phillips defended her father and in a statement to Oprah, maintained that she herself had a normal relationship with him. When her father passed away in 2001, it took Phillips a considerable amount of time to recover from her grief.  

Modeling Career

Music

Chuck D in concert

When Bijou Phillips was sent to boarding school, she threw herself into modeling to escape the routines of school. Graced with good looks and street smarts, she managed to earn a spot as the cover model (posing with Christina Ricci) for Interview magazine (Feb. 1994) on her first modeling job. Remarkably, she became the youngest Vogue Italia cover model and went on to secure advertising contracts with several high profile companies including Calvin Klein, Maxim and Stuff, and all appeared in numerous magazines including Playboy. Phillips’ modeling career lasted from the age of thirteen until seventeen. She still occasionally participates in runway modeling and enjoys attending fashion shows. In 2007, Phillips landed a spot in Stuff Magazine’s “100 Sexiest Women in the World” list, while the following year, Maxim Magazine listed her in their annual list of “Hot 100” female celebrities. 

When she was seventeen years old, Bijou Phillips ended her modeling career in New York and moved to Los Angeles in favor of music. Once there, she secured a recording contract with Almos Records. Building on the songwriting skills she developed as a child under her father’s tutelage, she began working on her debut album, I’d Rather Eat Glass. Phillips had also previously attended a Miles Copeland workshop to develop her songwriting skills and this helped to hone her musical skills further. A lot of her musical influences were acquired by sifting through her father’s record collection.

I’d Rather Eat Glass was released on May 11, 1999, and produced by Jerry Harrison of The Talking Heads. Thanks to her well-established network, Phillips had the advantage of signing on a number of big names. The album included a number of other musicians and vocalists including George Bernie Worrell (The Talking Heads), Prairie Prince (founder of Journey) and Bijou Phillip’s half-sister, Mackenzie Phillips. It was mixed by the four-time Grammy Award winner, Tom Lord-Alge, who has worked with quite a few top recording artists. The final result was a catchy alternative-pop-rock album layered with female vocals. Several reviews compared Phillips’ music to that of Canadian alt-rock star, Alanis Morissette. The second track, Polite, was featured on the soundtrack of I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.

While working on the album, Phillips continued to do a few modeling shoots on the side and also accepted several film roles. Despite this, she has insisted in numerous interviews that she feels most comfortable in musical settings as opposed to her other work. Although Phillips has only recorded one album to date, she has also occupied herself with other musical endeavors by contributing to film soundtracks including the movies, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and Rocky Horror 25 (Anniversary Edition). In 2006, she performed background vocals on Sean Lennon’s album, Friendly Fire and also had a cameo role in a series of short films also produced by Lennon to accompany his songs. She also briefly hosted an independent music show on (the now defunct site) Riffage.com.

Film Success Story

Today, much of Phillips’ work is in film. Her first small role was a minor supporting role in the film, Sugar Town. After Leonardi DiCaprio introduced her to director, James Toback, she was soon cast in the movie, Black and White, acting alongside Hollywood heavy hitters such as Brooke Shields and Robert Downey Jr. Although the film was not received very well, her performance was noted positively by reviewers. In the same year, she was also cast in the Academy Award-winning film, Almost Famous, and continued working in film on a regular basis. Phillips achieved wider recognition as an actress in 2007 with the release of the horror-gore movie, Hostel II. Her performance garnered her a “Scream Queen” nomination at the 2007 Spike TV Scream Awards.

Over the next few years, Phillips managed to land higher profile lead roles in several more movies, although she still enjoyed working in independent films. While working on several indie films, she met her future boyfriend, Danny Masterson. They co-starred in the films Made For Each Other, Wake, and The Bridge to Nowhere. A number of Phillips’ roles have portrayed dark or disturbed characters and similar subject material. After she had excelled in so many roles in this genre, reviewers and directors began to pigeonhole her as a horror genre actress. In a newspaper interview she talked about how she has become more settled in her daily life compared to her wilder teen days and would like to pursue roles in future that are closer to her actual state of mind.

Small Screen Features

Branching off from her regular Hollywood film work, Bijou Phillips has also done guest appearances and cameos in a few television shows. In 2007, she appeared in an episode of the reality show, The Simple Life, alongside friends Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie. She has also starred in episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Hawaii Five-O, and has voiced the character of Helena Wankstein in the video game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. More recently, Phillips won the recurring role of Lucy in the television comedy, Raising Hope. In 2007, she took to the stage, performing as Yitzak in the theatrical feature, Hedwig and the Angry Inch in Hollywood, and has appeared in a few music videos as well. Phillips has also enjoyed a fair amount of publicity as she has been asked to appear on the 1999 Teen Choice Awards Ceremony as well as several popular late-night talk shows hosted by Howard Stern, comedian Tom Green, and several times by Carson Daly and Carrie Keagan.

Personal Life

Bijou Phillips is quite vocal in her love for animals and currently owns horses as well as two dogs. She is a vegan and continues to exercise regularly, a habit carried over from her modeling days. In 2009, she became engaged to Danny Masterson who plays the character of Steven Hyde in the television show, That 70s Show. Two years earlier, they bought musician Chuck Berry’s former house in Los Angeles.