Having arrived in New York at 17 to appear in the Off Broadway play None of the Above (she was still enrolled in school, and spent each afternoon in the reading room at the New York Public Library, doing her homework), she has been largely on her own ever since. Recently, she moved to the Upper West Side after six years in the East Village. “I’m over needing to be stumbling distance from bars that take my fake I.D.,” she says. “Now I have a dishwasher and storage space. Friends come over for wine.” She has a boyfriend, an actor, but most nights, she says, “I just sit on my couch and knit and watch something brainless on Hulu, like an episode of Bones.”
Whatever her taste in entertainment, don’t expect to see Pill in a procedural anytime soon. “In Treatment was different, but in general, I won’t do TV,” she says, preferring projects that allow her to work closely with a director and dig into the emotional life of a character. She made an exception for this summer’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a big-screen adaption of the cult graphic novel starring Michael Cera. “I was like, ‘I’m tired of doing big hard things, and I would like to do a big easy thing,’ ” she says. “Plus, I got to learn to play the drums.”
Does playing these often-dark roles affect her psyche? “I never feel it till it’s over. But when I was doing Inishmore, every time I got drunk, I’d turn Irish. I was like, ‘It doesn’t affect me at’all!’ ” she says, adopting a bright lilt. “ ‘What’re ya talkin’ about? Shut da fuck up!’ ” Then she lifts an imaginary pint and takes a swig.