From my regular column in AnOther magazine.
The first time I heard the name Paz de la Huerta I assumed she must be very famous and that I had simply missed her on my radar. Her name has that ring, that majesty; it’s the kind of name you want to repeat to yourself out loud, just for the pleasure of hearing it. De. La. Huer. Ta. Did Nabokov name her? Like all European names, the “de” suggests a lineage descending from aristocracy. Maybe it’s that same background that has made it possible for Paz to be so nonchalantly late today. Who knows? In any case, somewhere out there, among the jostling, overambitious hoards of Manhattan, making her way from Midtown to Tribeca, where I wait for her, walks a beautiful young actress, a woman whose name means “Peace” in Spanish, and who is about to be famous beyond her wildest dreams (or perhaps exactly like them).
When Paz finally arrives, exiting onto the floor from a vintage 1930s-era elevator carriage, she is damp with August heat, the sweltering greenhouse reality that has been our New York summer. It’s not the most flattering way to meet a starlet, but Paz pulls it off with an aplomb that is serene and unapologetic. After a brief greeting she excuses herself to the washroom, douses her face and hair with cold water, then curls up in an armchair, sufficiently cooled.