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All this is far removed from his image as a serious singer-songwriter and barefoot hippie dude who has been quietly bewitching the world of music for the past decade.
When she was 11, an agent spotted her in a pizza joint and asked if she would be interested in modeling.
But first we need to stop by a bodega around the corner where they have, by Banhart’s description, the most extraordinary donuts. From there, we swing by Electric Lady Studios where Banhart will have a quick word with his pal Ric Ocasek, then it’s back to his place.
He currently resides in a fairly upscale high-rise apartment building, just off Christopher Street, in the same Greenwich Village neighborhood where—as Banhart, ever the student of 20th-century bohemia, points out—E. Cummings once lived; Bob Dylan first met Allen Ginsberg; James Baldwin, Frank Mc Court and Norman Mailer once held court at the long-gone Lion’s Head Pub; and in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, in a down-market, Mafia-owned dive called the Stonewall, fed-up gay men rose up against perpetual police harassment and said, “No more.” Banhart’s pretty sure Stephin Merritt also lives in his building, although he’s never seen him. “In Moscow, all the taxi drivers can recite the work of their 10 favorite poets,” he says as we make our way to his apartment.
She did a Revlon commercial, then announced that what she really wanted was to be an actress.
Six months later she was filming Lon, better known as The Professional (1994), starring Gary Oldman and Jean Reno.