Knockin' On Chan Marshall's Door

We made our love for Cat Power official by putting her on PAPER's May cover. When I flew down to Miami to interview Chan Marshall, I had very mixed feelings. The whole situation seemed touch and go all the way, but soon enough, I realized I had nothing to worry about. Chan was super-gracious, open, generous and all-around lovely -- I'm not just saying this, I swear. She bought me a souvenir crab leg keychain from Joe's Stone Crab ("you have to have this," she said) and put me up at her house when I had to stay an extra day in Miami because, well, it's a long story. It involves a canon ball and my tape recorder going bust -- the interview was by her pool (how Miami!).

When we talked, she was sweet and candid. She told me how she was nervous about taking on a cameo role in Wong Kar-wai's new movie My Blueberry Nights as Jude Law's ex-girlfriend from Russia, how she practiced her lines with a Russian accent only to be told on the day of the shoot to lose it by the assistant director, and about Wong's method directing style. "When we were shooting my scene, and you know, he always wears sunglasses even at night, he told me to act sad, then for the next scene he'd say to me, 'Chan (Chinese style pronunciation),' that's what he always called me, 'Now try shedding just one tear.'" Three takes later, she was balling. "Then he said, 'Now one more, but this time no tears.'" And that was the take he wanted.

One of her dreams is to go on tour, playing in the same cities as Bob Dylan, but in the afternoons so she'd be able to go see him at night. Even though she's told this to her tour manager numerous times, it's never happened. "This is the thing that frustrates me the most -- that people don't take you seriously because you're a girl." She also told me that after getting out of rehab, while in recovery, she read every Haruki Murakami book. I don't know why, but that made an impression on me. On my last day in Miami, we had lunch at Book Café and then went shopping at Place Vendome where we both bought the same pair of pants. Then I flew back to cold, cold New York City and I thought about how really great she was.

Here are the outtake photos by Elinor Carucci from the Cat Power cover story.

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