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Creator / Natasha Lyonne

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Natasha Lyonne (born April 4, 1979 in New York City, New York) is an American actor best known for such movies as American Pie, Slums of Beverly Hills, But I'm a Cheerleader, and Party Monster.

In television, she's known for playing Nicky Nichols, recovering addict and charismatic lesbian, in Orange Is the New Black. She also plays Smoky Quartz in Steven Universe, where she holds the distinction of being the only actor for a Fusion character who's not a singer. She also plays leading character Gaz on Ballmastrz: 9009. Since 2019, she's starred in Russian Doll, a Netflix original Lyonne also writes for, executive produces and co-created. As of 2023, she's also serving as an official spokesperson for Old Navy.


Tropes associated with her roles:

  • Actor-Shared Background: Like her character Nicky Nichols, Lyonne has struggled with addiction. The show also utilizes the chest scar she was left with after a heart infection, something written in as Nicky having undergone too. Also, they're both Jewish (culturally at least).
  • Brooklyn Rage: She has a strong New York accent which suits her "tough girl" typecasting extremely well.
  • …But I Play One on TV: OITNB fans who held her as a queer icon due to her character in the show being one tend to be surprised to find out that she was in a longterm relationship with Fred Armisen, although there are conflicting interviews and reports about whether she's straight or bi.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Her characters in her later career always have plenty of snarky one-liners and provide much of the comic relief.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: While her hair is normally dark blonde, she has gone platinum and other colors for roles. Somewhat averted with her role in Party Monster, wherein she wore a Fat Suit to play the chubby girl.
  • Former Child Star: She began as a child actor (her first film was Heartburn, at the age of 7), working steadily through her teens and twenties. She seemed to be an aversion until she ran into health and legal troubles in the 2000s. Now she's more of a straight aversion, having a hugely successful return.
  • Smoky Voice: She is known for her distinctly hoarse voice from years of heavy smoking, which suits the tough characters she plays.
  • What Could Have Been: She was offered the title role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer but turned it down.