Courtney Love is a musician, actress, and punk legend. She made her theatrical debut in a cult classic, but you probably didn’t even notice here.
Early Days Of Courtney Love
In the mid-1980s, Love was caught between acting and music. She moved to Los Angles to take acting classes at the San Francisco Art Institute and learned under Whoopi Goldberg in Oakland. She soon made her feature film debut, but not in the role she had auditioned for.
Sid And Nancy is a biopic about Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious. The Alex Cox film helped launch Gary Oldman into superstardom.
The character of Spungen was played by Chloe Webb, who earned some awards for the role. Love had auditioned for the role, and Cox found a way to work her into the picture. She played Gretchen, a friend of Spungen who mourns her friend’s tragic death. You can check out her audition tape here.
An Interesting Career
The bit role paid off in the long run. Cox had her play the lead role in the next Cox film Straight to Hell. This caught the attention of Andy Warhol, who subsequently featured her in his MTV series Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes. She made the wise decision to focus on music afterward.
Along with Caroline Rue and Eric Erlandson, Love formed the rock band Hole. The group was extremely influential in the noise and punk rock scene. Their 1994 record Live Through This has appeared on numerous lists of the greatest albums of all time. The hole is also what led to Love eventually meeting Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. Her relationship with Kurt Cobain is infamous and ended in tragedy.
Back To Film
After Cobain’s death in 1994, Love started acting again. She’s part of the impressive cast of Feeling Minnesota where she worked with Vicent D’Onofrio, Cameron Diaz, and Keanu Reeves to name a few. Her most well-known role came in the Miloš Forman film The People vs. Larry Flynt. Love got nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as Althea Leasure Flynt, losing to Brenda Blethyn for Secrets & Lies.
Forman cast Love once more in the Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon. The rest of Love’s film career saw her appear in television shows, some Indy films, and an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. To think her lengthy career all began with an audition tape for a role she didn’t land.