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Courtney Love’s second act has treated her pretty well. The musician turned actress has gotten a run of acting gigs since last year, starting with her television debut on Sons of Anarchy. But her appearance in Fox’s ratings monster Empire as Elle Dallas, an aging rock star too similar to Love to ignore, stood out. EW already got the scoop on how she got on Lee Daniels’ show. But in an interview in Citizens of Humanity with Jemima Kirke (Girls), Love details how Elle’s music identity developed:

They sent me down to Timbaland to Hit Factory and we came to the compromise that I would sing “Take Me to the River.” So I came down to Hit Factory in Miami and the first night Timbaland was all, “What is the deal with this girl who can’t hit notes?” and he’s very musically intelligent, but I was like, well, “You know, think Patti Smith, think Bob Dylan,” and he said, “OK, I get it, I get it,” but it was really funny for the first two hours. He was like, “Well, can you hit this note?” and I’m like, “No, I’ve never hit that note.”

Here are some other good excerpts from the Love/Kirke interview.

Will she be back for Empire season 2? “I think so.”

Awesome. Time to ride the Elle relapse train!

She owes her acting career to Daniels and Kurt Sutter

Kirke asks if Love’s bad reputation has subsided in Hollywood, and Love thinks it has. The reasoning? Two show bosses: “It’s Lee Daniels’ and Kurt Sutter’s doing, by giving me these roles,” she says. “It’s showing the community that I can [act].”

On playing James Franco’s wife in The Long Home.

“There’s going to be some revisions, but I’m basically a hooker who is his wife. He’s a moonshiner and I run, like, his brothel, so the first time you see me, I’m doing something sexual with a sailor. It’s pretty dark—William Gay was like O’Connor or Faulkner or something like that, like he was in that group of Southern Gothic writers.”

Love digs Miley Cyrus. Is there a musical collaboration in the works?

Not as of now. Love: “I have not made any music with Miley Cyrus. I don’t know that that would be a good match, but she’s really put together and smart. I liked her a lot.”

Lana Del Rey inspired “the catchiest song of my career.”

Love is touring with Lana, where she penned the “super good” cut “Miss Narcissist”—which has since been released. Direct any thanks or complaints to the sultry Del Rey.

Episode Recaps

Lee Daniels and Danny Strong created this Fox drama about a kingpin of hip-hop (played by Terrence Howard) and his family, who fight him for control of the empire.
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