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Guitar and Driver

Minnie Driver sings the blues—about Matt Damon?—on a new album of original tracks.

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Apart from a brief guest stint on Will & Grace, Minnie Driver’s recent Hollywood near-invisibility suggested the Good Will Hunting star had been abducted by aliens or had scampered off to an ashram. Turns out the 34-year-old was holed up recording Everything I’ve Got in My Pocket, a Dido-esque collection of tracks about love and breakups. It’s a subject the tabloid fixture could milk for another five CDs: In addition to Harrison Ford, John Cusack, and Josh Brolin, Driver famously dated Matt Damon—until he dumped her on Oprah. Andrew Goldman tried to get the actress-songstress to reveal which song is about Ben Affleck’s better half.

There’s this expectation when an actor puts out an album that it’s going to really suck.
Yeah, but I don’t lump myself in with everyone else. I’ve been a musician longer than I’ve been an actor.

The record is preoccupied with heartbreak, namely yours. Who are the songs about?
I’d never be so crass as to say. No one will ever guess, either.

I’ll settle for just the initials.
Okay. F.U.

Now we’re getting somewhere. Do your songs’ subjects know when you’re singing about them?
No. I ran into an ex-boyfriend, and he thought all the lovely songs were about him. I was like, “None of them are about you, you idiot.”

In “So Well,” you sing, “I will pass by your house and not look, I won’t pick up the phone, I’ll read a book.” Sounds like the sort of thing I’ve heard from women lurking outside my place with a flashlight.
It’s not about stalking! That song’s actually about when you’re with someone you still love, but you break up because you aren’t getting along. It’s about how hard it is to stick to your guns when all you want to do is call and say, “Can’t we try this again?”

Your rose tattoo: How long after you got it did you regret it?
I don’t see it often enough to regret it. It’s on my right butt cheek. I got it when I was 15, and when I see it I kind of smile wryly. It makes me think about being 15, and there’s something rather cool about that.

Let’s say you absolutely had to get another tattoo. What do you get?
I bet you play that game where you ask if you’d rather make out with Phyllis Diller after she’d eaten eight cloves of garlic or jump off a building.

Phyllis Diller. So what’s the tattoo?
Okay. I would get my sister’s unborn child’s name on my ankle.

But then you’d have to hope you don’t become estranged from the kid.
By the way, Chicken Licken, the sky is going to fall at four o’clock.

You just cursed me!
Oh, wow, my phone battery is going dead.

Sure.
No, really. I’ll call you back. [Two minutes pass.]

I’m shocked you called me back!
I am too. I’m very fucking polite. I had every reason not to.

Two songs quote your father. Does he give good relationship advice?
He says the best things. When someone had really done me wrong, and I was so sad and angry, my dad said, “Honey, nobody ever runs up a bar tab they don’t have to pay.”

Don’t some people go through life without having to pay?
There is a grand stifling and suffocation to their spirits. At four o’clock in the morning, when they wake up by themselves, they feel the weight of the things they’ve done.


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