In a city teeming with self-proclaimed “It” girls, casting the role of Edie Sedgwick—the debaucherous debutante and Warhol muse who O.D.’d at 28 in 1971—in a new Off Broadway play should be easy. Is Paris Hilton available?
Not so fast, says playwright Peter Braunstein, who will be casting his Andy and Edie next month (the play opens in the spring): “The only girls we’ve ruled out are the Hilton sisters. They’re just too damn obvious.”
Braunstein’s top choice? Ashley Marie Smith, who posed as “socialite” Frenchie Marriot in a GQ Hilton-sisters spoof last year. But casting a real-life Edie is risky, he says: “You have to worry that she’ll disappear/O.D./melt down before the curtain opens.”
Some of the city’s likeliest candidates are a bit miffed even to be considered for such a role. “People always make reference to her when they write about me,” sniffs Chloë Sevigny. “And I find it a little offensive, because she was just a rich society girl who did a lot of drugs and didn’t accomplish much.” Socialite-actress Casey Johnson, though, is “obsessed” with Sedgwick: “There’s so much you can do with her character—she’s like a Marilyn Monroe!”
George Plimpton, who edited Jean Stein’s book about Edie, is thinking Natalie Portman—in part because “they both have the Harvard background.” (Of course, Edie dropped out after one semester.) Braunstein’s remarks above suggest that Plimpton may be onto something.