Euphoria's Hunter Schafer chats with friend and noted First Reformed stan Lorde about star signs, cloak eras, autofiction, Antarctica and more.
Topics covered include: exquisite faces, rich inner worlds, being a Prada girl, dressing like a magician, nostalgia for Rookie magazine, the Jules episode of Euphoria as trans girl canon, astrological turbulence, Scorpio eyes, metabolizing your emotions through art, peacing out on popular culture, the music of Arca and Sophie, and tracking orcas.
Speaker: Hey, and welcome back to The A24 Podcast. We’ve been trying to get Lorde and Hunter Schafer together for a conversation ever since we heard “Liability” featured on the Jules special episode of Euphoria that Hunter co-wrote. Things finally came together late last year, and Hunter took a break from filming Season 2 to chat with Lorde about art, astrology, Antarctica, and more. We hope you enjoy the episode.
Lorde: Okay, shall we get into it?
Hunter Schafer: Are we good? All right, let's do it.
Lorde: After you.
Hunter: All right. Hello. This is Hunter Schafer.
Lorde: And this is Lorde. And we are talking for The A24 Podcast.
Lorde: Hello, my queen. How are you?
Hunter: Hello. I'm wonderful. How are you?
Lorde: I am great. Thank you. Doing this on a very warm Sunday in Hollywood.
Hunter: Very toasty walk over here.
Lorde: Yeah. We were at an event about the power of women the other night.
Hunter: Yes, a few nights ago.
Lorde: Where you introduced me really sweetly and it really touched me.
Hunter: We killed our public speaking moments.
Lorde: We tried.
Hunter: We used the teleprompters as needed.
Lorde: I just flagged someone down and was like, "Alcohol, please." And they brought us the funniest pink drink.
Hunter: It was bright pink.
Lorde: With a pink flower in it. It was truly someone's interpretation of a girl's kind of drink. But ripped that. You hit your Juul. And then we just got up there and did it. Then Angelina Jolie got up right after us, which felt crazy.
Lorde: Crazy. I was like, they should have to just reset the whole stage. She's the queen.
Hunter: And her face? Oh my God.
Hunter: In real life.
Lorde: Simply divine.
Hunter: So much fun to look at.
Lorde: Yeah. I feel like that kind of event, there are a lot of exquisite faces. You really realize, "Oh, this is what it's all about."
Hunter: Yeah. I mean, women and femmes, you know?
Lorde: Women and femmes!
Hunter: But you look pretty cozy today. This is—
Lorde: Thanks. This is quite far from womenswear. I'm just, like, in... Well, these are Prada pants, actually. Vintage Prada. This is my Etsy—
Hunter: Speaking of Prada.
Lorde: I know. I'm in the presence of a Prada princess.
Hunter: Prada girl.
Lorde: So when did that start? And what does that mean to you, being a Prada girl? Was that something that you had... Did you grow up with an understanding of Prada? Because you're into fashion, I've seen your designs. So beautiful.
Hunter: Thank you. Grew up really into fashion, and I think I was more interested in Miu Miu growing up, just because there was something more babydoll about it. And I feel like every trans girl has this rite of passage through the babydoll era, where you got to dress like the five-year-old girl that you never got to be.
Lorde: Right, that's interesting.
Hunter: So, I found that in Miu Miu, I think. But then recently, I mean, just with work and life changing really fast, I just told my team, I was like, "Yo, Prada's doing some sick shit right now. And Raf Simons is there and what can we do with them?" And then a few days later they came back with an offer. It was pretty crazy.
Lorde: How cool to get to say that. Only you could be like, "Hey, I kind of want to be a Prada girl," and they'd be like, "Yes."
Hunter: Is there any kind of fashion girl you would like to be?
Lorde: Yeah, so I grew up definitely consuming a lot of shows on... It wasn't called Vogue Runway at the time, but what we now know as Vogue Runway. I was very into fashion. I was a big Commes-head. Obsessed with Commes. A huge Phoebe Philo Celine fan.
Hunter: Yes, of course. Incredible.
Lorde: Still. And I have like a little collection of those pieces going on.
Hunter: Oh, nice.
Lorde: It's kind of the wild west for Phoebe Philo Celine fans, the prices have skyrocketed.
Hunter: I don't want to even imagine.
Lorde: No, no, never. It's a bad habit. But no, I liked really sort of big, strange clothes. I liked a lot of fabric, really structural. There was no shape that I was afraid of, and I was the opposite to you in that I was not keen to confront my femininity or my sexuality quite yet. I was like, "Let's not even talk about my body." So I would find these pieces that were really—I think of them now as cloaks, like a magician's cloak.
Hunter: Yeah. I remember when I saw you in concert when I was like 14 or 15 or something, you had—I think you did, you wore like a cloak maybe at one point.
Lorde: Yeah, that was my cloak era for sure.
Hunter: And then some super badass baggy pants and maybe like a crop top or something, which is a go-to silhouette.
Lorde: Thank you. Thank you so much. Yeah. I loved a suit as a kid and I look back I'm like, it's kind of funny to be, like, 15, 16 and wearing a suit.
Hunter: In a suit.
Lorde: Yeah. It was kind of tough.
Hunter: That's pretty cool. Yeah.
Lorde: Yeah. I'm proud of it looking back. Wow. I have so many questions for you.
Hunter: Oh my God.
Lorde: I do want to talk actually a little bit more about your visual art practice, because I think of it as like a big part of you as a creative. And obviously I don't know that much about you as a creative, but you do these incredible drawings.
Hunter: Thank you.
Lorde: You are such a talented visual artist. And I can't even imagine having that arm to what I can do and how I can express myself. So I wanted to know, is that something you've always done? And what place does that occupy for you? And are you making a lot of visual art all the time? Like, tell me.
Hunter: I feel like it goes in waves. I've been doing it literally ever since I can remember, like instead of sitting me down in front of a TV, my parents would just stick me down in front of a table with paper and crayons and stuff and just let me go loose on there. And then I think something parallel to an addiction was formed with drawing and yeah, ever since I can remember, if there's something in my hand, the innate feeling is to just doodle. And I feel like that's where the bulk of my drawing stuff happens is in just margins of papers. My agenda at school was just full of fucking drawings.
Lorde: That's so cool.
Hunter: Yeah. I went to this state-funded visual arts school for my last two years of high school and got trained. And it was interesting going to school for a thing that was like, just my thing for the first time. And that's now part of being graded and stuff. And I don't know, it's a weird thing once a passion turns into either schoolwork or something lucrative. I'm sure you feel that too with music maybe?
Lorde: Because I started making music not long after I started getting paid to make music, I don't know. It wasn't a big adjustment I guess, but no, it is a funny thing. It's something I've been thinking about recently actually, like this thing that I—I think of my work as I get to play, I just get to go to a studio and play for months at a time, and months turn into years, and I'm still there playing. It feels no different to playing at school or playing with my little dolls that I would make.
Hunter: You would make dolls too?
Lorde: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
Hunter: What kind of dolls?
Lorde: I would make... Oh my God, okay. So well, my preschool teacher would make these incredible dolls that—you would get, like, I don't know if you have it here, they call it a Kewpie doll, like a little plastic kind of doll. And she would glue these really intricate skirts to them and these beautiful glittery fabrics. But my favorites were—she would find a little baby doll and it would go inside a walnut shell.
Lorde: And she would make a little bed for it in a walnut shell.
Hunter: That's so cute.
Lorde: Like a little baby, like the fairies would have their baby. And just like, that really blew my mind. Yeah.
Hunter: That is adorable.
Lorde: Yeah. I was making all kinds of shit, too. Very crafty. Yeah. Crafty child. I feel like if you, I mean, I know you're this kind of person, because I just know these people when I see them, but you have a very rich inner world and you just need to go there and dial in times a thousand and just be sort of in your own thing. Yeah. The sort of crafty writing and reading and drawing.
Lorde: All those pastimes were great for that as a kid.
Hunter: Did you ever like, because I assume you're quite an inner world person too, did you ever try to actually map it out or create some version of it in real life?
Lorde: Oh my gosh. That's a great question. Well, maybe not in so many words, but I remember Tavi Gevinson, who is a friend of mine who's so amazing and sort of like the high priestess of the inner world, of acknowledging the inner world as a teenager for me growing up.
Lorde: Rookie. Yeah. Represent. But she would do this amazing sort of color coding of her journals. There was this whole system of symbols and yeah, they'd correspond with different emotions or different parts of her, which was so amazing to me. But I've never been someone who journals. I've just like... I don't write down anything about myself. I don't know why. And I've tried and I've tried. I just can't get into it. It's like a bad—
Hunter: That actually surprises me.
Lorde: I know, I know. It sucks.
Hunter: No, it's not bad. Where do they go? Songs?
Lorde: It would be amazing. I know. Or guess into songs or in my, like, notes, which is such a heinous—
Hunter: Oh, the notes app?
Hunter: That's a journal.
Lorde: I know, but it's a bad place for them, you know? Tavi has like 20 or more books, and she keeps them in this fireproof safe.
Hunter: I've seen the interview.
Lorde: So cool.
Hunter: I was like her biggest fan before I started working for Rookie.
Lorde: You worked for Rookie?
Lorde: You did?
Hunter: That was my first job.
Lorde: What the heck? What did you do?
Lorde: This is a scoop for me.
Hunter: Really? Let's see. Yeah. I was, like I said, an avid Tavi Gevinson stan in freshman year of high school. And on Instagram I, In my fandomness, posted—I cut out a picture of Tavi with an Exacto knife from a magazine shoot, because I collected everything that she was in. And then I held her little paper hand and took a picture of the cutout and posted it for her birthday, and tagged her. And then yeah, I guess she found it and then found my account with my art on it, and asked me to be a contributor and I had a meltdown, and then contributed for like a few years.
Lorde: Oh my gosh. I need to go back and look at these. I bet I saw them at the time.
Hunter: Maybe, but oh my God. It was so... Yeah, my work has changed a lot since then.
Lorde: For sure, for sure.
Hunter: But it was so, so cute and I'm glad Rookie's still a relic. I think it's still up even though they stopped putting stuff out.
Lorde: Yeah, no, I've seen that too. I have thought about it recently. I read an article about having those spaces for teens.
Lorde: And how cool that was. And they talk about Sassy as well, which is an iconic sort of '90s magazine that I think inspired Rookie and it's so cool to... Yeah, I wonder if—I'm sure kids are creating those spaces for themselves. I'm out of the game, you know? It's crazy to think about teenagedom. I'm 24, you're 22, and it's one of those things I never thought I would be outside of.
Hunter: I know.
Lorde: It’s sort of like a bit of a grieving process.
Hunter: That shit felt like it would never end.
Lorde: Never. For better or for worse.
Hunter: Oh my God. I do kind of miss it sometimes though, just because where we're at now seems like such a dream world, like so far away and unimaginable, and it's wild to be in that. I don't know what your... Was this your aspiration, what you're doing now?
Lorde: I mean, I didn't really have... All I thought was, "I want to make something that communicates with people like me, the way I would want to be communicated with." I just felt like there was nothing that was talking to people my age like we were real people, apart from something like Rookie. I was like, "Where's the musical equivalent of that?" 2012, 2013, it was like a bit of a desert. There were young, sort of pop artists I guess, but social media was still not really a big part of being an artist. So you didn't have that connection with someone's voice and their personality. I still remember, I think I said to my label or something, "I'm doing Instagram and Twitter. It's kind of fun." And they were like, "Oh, okay." Like, "Good on you. Do it, I guess" And now they're like, "That's a huge part of..." Yeah. It's like completely monetized.
Hunter: It is wild. I feel like I can fully, completely say most of my career stuff has come from fucking Instagram.
Lorde: You have to give that the credit that it's due. It's easy to be like, "Ah, this thing is fucked up." Yeah.
These are just questions I'm interested in. How did you get your role on Euphoria, and was that like an early acting role for you?
Hunter: Yeah. I had never acted before Euphoria, and it was not in my plan at all. Especially at that point—I'm less shy now because acting has sort of really broken me out of that shell—but definitely, I was really shy. I was modeling in New York, just really to be making some money and be in New York and around an industry that I wanted to work in. But even with the performative stuff of that, I couldn't have dreamed of acting. And I had never been in an audition before.
And my agency said that these casting people had reached out and asked me to come in and read for this role for this HBO show. I didn't know what to think of it. And initially I was like, "I don't think I want to do it,” just because it wasn't my thing. I was supposed to go to school in a few months, in fashion. But they asked again and I think I ended up going in. Yeah, I just kept getting called back, which was really surprising and—
Lorde: I can imagine what happened after they met you. All of their prospects would have just fallen away. What you have in that role, there was just no one else for it.
Hunter: Oh my God.
Lorde: It's insane.
Hunter: I mean, it is. Oh, it's so cool to think about, like, what other versions of Jules there could have been, because she's so closely tied to me.
Lorde: I don't think about any other versions of Jules. There are no other versions. But yeah, I know what you mean.
Hunter: But it's kind of fun. Like, did you ever watch Teen Titans?
Lorde: No. What is that?
Hunter: Wow. I bring this up a lot in the interviews, actually. I should probably stop doing that. It's like a teen superhero show, and there's this character, Raven, who was always my favorite. And there was an episode where she divided up into, like, 10 versions of herself, and each one was a different color of the rainbow spectrum. Wow. Tangent. Yeah.
Lorde: You think about that with Jules.
Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Like, what other actors could have done. It's kind of fun. Have you ever acted?
Lorde: I actually acted before I sang and made music.
Lorde: Yeah. I was in a drama group in my neighborhood from age five to about 13 or 14.
Hunter: So it wasn't in school?
Lorde: No, after school.
Hunter: It was on your own time? You really wanted to.
Lorde: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Own time. Absolutely loved it. I was just chronically, painfully shy, and this was the thing that made me feel like I was powerful. Yeah. In being someone else and speaking, I could put that aside, that shyness, and just be this sort of big presence, which I loved. I did that for a long time. I do think about it. But I think I was not a good actor. I think if I really think about it, like, I wasn't good.
Hunter: I can’t imagine that’s true.
Lorde: I could memorize lines and I could project, but I'm like—I can feel it. At times, my music job has required me to do a tiny bit of acting, whether it's in a music video, like just “Look up and look surprised,” and I do it. I'm like, "Oh God.”
Hunter: That's what it is, though. Music videos sound fun to film. I actually have a question about this. Do you actually get to listen to the music for them?
Lorde: The entire day.
Hunter: The entire day?
Lorde: The entire day. It's all you're doing. You're listening to the song over and over and over. And the one thing I didn't know about when I started making videos, sometimes they will shoot at a different frame rate, and so you have to sing to a version that is either twice as slow or twice as fast, which is crazy to do.
Hunter: Oh my God. I think about rappers who are just, like, spitting twenty words as second.
Lorde: Yeah, yeah. Because it's used in a lot of pop videos as well. It makes things look really, like, epic and stuff.
Hunter: I mean, slow-mo, that shit looks cool.
Lorde: Yeah. It's slow-mo, but it doesn't look slow-mo. It's a crazy thing. I haven't done it in years, but yeah, no. You listen to the song all day. We recently shot a bunch of videos. I think we did six or seven for this album in New Zealand.
Hunter: Solar Power?
Lorde: For Solar Power, yeah.
Lorde: Yeah. We were, like, on this beach for like 10 days or something.
Hunter: I saw the “Solar Power” one. That beach?
Lorde: Yeah, that beach. Yeah, yeah.
Hunter: That video was so much fun, by the way.
Lorde: Thank you. Yeah, it was super fun. That was my first experience co-directing, and like—
Hunter: You co-directed that?
Lorde: Yeah. And like, written all the treatments and like, basically almost helped produce it. Like I was super, super involved, but it was amazing. It was so much fun, that experience of being on a set. It was like, "Oh, man. This is fun. If only I could act, I could be doing this more often."
Hunter: You were serving whatever the vibe of that song is in the video. I could feel it through my screen.
Lorde: Thank you.
Hunter: Had you ever directed before?
Lorde: No. I think it's like a classic thing for young women. You are like, "Oh, I think I do this thing, but I've never been credited with it, no one's ever talked to me about..." Whether it's like music production or video directing or graphic design stuff. Yeah, it takes a second to be like, "Hey, I know what I've contributed to this and I think my credit should reflect that."
Lorde: It's definitely been a process for me, figuring out how to voice that. But yeah. So this is my first time being called a director. But yeah. It was super, super fun.
Hunter: Yeah. You got the title.
Hunter: Hell yeah.
Lorde: So, okay. I have a bunch of questions for you.
Hunter: Wait. So does that mean there's more videos coming?
Lorde: There's more. Yeah, yeah. They're coming.
Hunter: Cool, cool. As a fan, I had to ask.
Lorde: Yeah, yeah. I want to talk about your episode, actually that you wrote for Euphoria, which was so awesome.
Hunter: Co-wrote with Sam. Yeah.
Lorde: You co-wrote it. Yeah. It was so beautiful.
Hunter: Thank you.
Lorde: Yeah. I could see... I don't know. All the time when I am watching you do stuff, I can tell that there is so much to come. Like, you just keep unfolding. There's another layer. There's another layer. And I feel like this episode was, like, 10 layers.
Hunter: There's a lot of layers.
Lorde: Yeah. Did it feel that way to you? What was the experience like writing it, and what made you want to write an episode?
Hunter: Definitely. Once again, it wasn't necessarily something that I was out looking for. I think of myself as not that great with words, which is why I draw and paint and stuff like that, because that feels so much easier than trying to articulate myself with these shits, words.
Lorde: These shits?
Hunter: Yeah. They're really annoying. I find them constricting. But yeah. Sam and I were just talking a lot through the pandemic. We had played around writing this other movie out of sheer boredom and wanting to be back at work. And so we already had that dynamic established a little bit, and he was thinking about doing a Jules episode after writing the Rue episode, and we just started talking about it and got into it. And eventually, he was just like, "This kind of sounds like dialogue. Should we do this together?" And I was like, "Fuck, yeah." And we did it in like a week, the first draft.
But writing is really cool, actually. Maybe particularly with Sam, because he's a pretty visual thinker too and really rhythmic. There's something musical about writing a script as well, because you're kind of having to envision the beats and the—you really are having to play out the entire thing in your head and then figure out how to say that or communicate that in as few words as possible, plus whatever dialogue is happening. But it's really fun in that way, because it's like making a map or like a blueprint for this thing that could be very real. It's really wild to write about a room, and then like a month later walk into that room you wrote about. That's a crazy feeling. Yeah. It was definitely the most cathartic artistic experience I've had so far in life.
Lorde: Oh, I felt that. And I wanted to ask you about it because it's such a deep exploration of femininity, of trans femininity, of desire and physicality, the likes of which I feel like I hadn't ever really seen or heard before. Some of those thoughts, I thought it was like a real... I'm truly not an authority on this at all, obviously, but I felt like it was a real entry into a young trans girl canon or something. It felt really, really big in that way.
Hunter: Yeah. That's what it was supposed to be.
Lorde: Yeah, totally.
Hunter: Thank you.
Lorde: No, not at all. It was, yeah, mission accomplished. But I was interested to know where the line is with sort of personal and how much of that is that character and how much of that is you? Because always with something really personal, I want to know, like, "Is that her?" or, "Is that him?" I read a lot of autofiction and I think it's like a basic question. I think you're not really supposed to ask like, "Is that you or the character?" But I was curious about it. Which parts of yourself you brought and which parts felt like they were Jules’ to explain.
Hunter: Yeah. It's wild. I mean, the whole show, and Sam, who taught me how to act and write and all of these things literally from the ground up, he's trained in method acting. So there's a bit of a basis of that there, which yields pretty blurry lines pretty fast, I think.
Lorde: Wait, so do you kind of do a bit of a method act?
Hunter: I don't have, like, a technique. The casting director tried to stick me in this acting class in New York with this guy who fucking trained some crazy actors, but it was the method technique. And I made it two weeks into this month-long class before I had to drop out because it is so hardcore. Like that technique as a thing, oh my God.
Lorde: And not right for everyone. If it works for you, it really works.
Lorde: I can imagine being like, "No, no."
Hunter: But not sustainable. Especially for a 19-year-old.
Lorde: Oh, man. Of course.
Hunter: I had way too much going on to figure out how to completely become someone else for a long period of time.
Lorde: No, totally.
Hunter: But the episode, there's a lot of me in it. And even Jules as a character in the first season was sort of built around a lot of... Or, like, a lot of my experiences fall in line with hers or Sam’s, so it's a bit of a mixture of both of us. But I had been through a lot that pandemic summer as well. I don't know how the pandemic was for you particularly in the quarantine months, but I definitely lost my shit a little bit. So I'd been through a lot, and kind of just coming out of that really rough patch when we started writing it. So I had all this energy that was stewing and that got poured into it, at least for the acting as well. I feel like I was saving a lot of—
Lorde: Oh, man.
Hunter: A lot of shit to get out for the days that we filmed.
Lorde: It was crazy watching you in that episode. That was definitely another layer again. It was so, so real.
Hunter: Yeah. There was a lot of real emotions coming out in that shoot, as well.
Lorde: How special to get to metabolize it in that way.
Hunter: Yeah, it really was. It's so therapeutic. Yeah. Do you feel that way with songwriting? Because you write all your stuff, right?
Lorde: I sure do. Yeah.
Hunter: Yeah. Do you feel that way with it? Or, I also know you have synesthesia.
Lorde: Yes, I have the thing.
Hunter: Yes, the thing.
Lorde: It's so embarrassing.
Hunter: The thing. But, do you feel that way when writing, or is it something more like post-having the feelings? Or do you gotta like, “Oh, I'm having a feeling right now, I got to save it for later, when I'm in front of a notepad and could get this out and stuff”?
Lorde: Well, I find songwriting to be really... I guess it is cathartic. I think by the time I finish the song I've helped to reconcile what it is. Like if it's something that is grappling with something that is a bit more naughty. I remember that with “Liability,” actually, which is in your episode of Euphoria, which was such a treat for me. Sam sent me the scene and I literally shed a tear, which does not happen for me very often.
Hunter: The way it fucking matched up with that shot, it literally just matched up by itself. We didn't even have to edit. It was insane.
Lorde: It kills me. So beautiful. No, but when I was writing that song—
[Hunter’s alarm goes off]
Hunter: Oh, my God, not that.
Lorde: Get her out of bed, wake up Hunter. Yeah, when I was writing that song, before I started writing it I had been carrying around this big naughty feeling. I was feeling, yeah, just like too much and too big. And people were going to come along and be like, “Okay, turns out you're crazy. Got to go.” And I could just see this cycle of people being drawn to my light and then tapping out when it got too crazy, unfolding in front of me. And yeah, writing the song about it and reclaiming that, being like, “Yeah, I am a lot, and this is it. Choose to indulge and stick it out, and good things will happen.”
I feel like, yeah, I definitely remember that, as an example. And I remembered it actually as this—I was in New York at the time and I was 19 or 20, maybe. I was carrying around this big heartbreak. And it just felt like the Original Heartbreak, you know? Like no one else had ever had—
Hunter: Your first?
Lorde: Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. It was mine and no one understood it, and I felt so fragile. But I remember writing that song and describing it to my co-writer as this violet bubble around me. And I just felt like, you know what? I've got all this pale purple. I've got this bubble now. And it's okay, I've fortified myself against this feeling that someone might try to level at me. So that was a total... And it is, yeah. It should feel like that, I think, when you've done it right. Or, that's what I like about—
Hunter: Like an armor or something.
Lorde: Yeah. Yeah. Totally. And just getting to move something through and understand it. A song might start with a fear, I'm scared that my dog is going to die, or something. And then in writing that you help to make sense of that.
Hunter: You can feel it in that too. Fucking heartbreak.
Lorde: Yeah. Yeah. But the synesthesia is a weird... it's kind of a weird thing. Yeah. I don't know. I mean, it sounds like you have a little bit of it. You've said the thing about maps a couple of times.
Lorde: It's really interesting to me that you want this classification system or something.
Hunter: It is kind of weird. But I think, yeah, it's—
Lorde: It sounds visual to me, maps.
Hunter: It is. Yeah. Because inside of my head is a scramble all the time, of just mess. I have pretty intense ADHD.
Lorde: Right, I didn’t know that.
Hunter: So it’s just a lot of—and I feel like writing stuff down and mapping it. These, I brought one today.
Lorde: Let me see.
Hunter: But these notebooks, or these little notepads.
Lorde: Ah, look at that. I love that. That's so interesting. What star sign are you?
Hunter: I'm a Capricorn.
Lorde: Okay. Interesting.
Hunter: Yeah. What are you?
Lorde: I'm a Scorpio.
Hunter: Oh, word.
Lorde: And I'm like a textbook Scorpio. Strong emotions.
Hunter: Actually, yeah. I totally see it.
Lorde: Capricorns, I think—
Hunter: I think you have Scorpio eyes.
Lorde: Thank you so much. Prolonged eye contact?
Hunter: Do you know what that is?
Lorde: Is a Scorpio thing?
Lorde: Very locked in.
Lorde: But yeah, I do think of Capricorns as needing systems to make it through.
Lorde: Like, “Let’s just map it out.”
Hunter: I didn't think I was that way, or I feel like I rejected that trait for a while. Because I was like, “No, I want to be a free—”
Lorde: Free spirit.
Hunter: “—spirit.” Yeah. And go with the flow. But you identify with your Scorpio-ness?
Lorde: I do. I do big time. Scorpios are very passionate, strong likes and dislikes, sort of mercurial. My main way I am always like, “Damn bitch you're a Scorpio,” is with how I befriend. It takes me a long time, I don't make friends easily. But if I bring you in, you're in for life and I'm going to leave you better than I found you.
Hunter: Aw. That's beautiful.
Lorde: Yeah. It's a whole commitment. For better or for worse.
Hunter: The Scorpio eyes fall in line with that. My first girlfriend was a Scorpio. And I swear, she did something with her eyes and it was over. I was dead, fallen. Yeah.
Lorde: Love it.
Hunter: Do you find your compatibilities are true too, like with whatever? Do you pay attention to astrology?
Lorde: Yeah. There’s this amazing 70s astrologer called Linda Goodman who I got really into. So she has a book called Sun Signs and Love Signs. And I got to say, they are products of the time. There's some crazy heteronormativity. And she's like, “You're going to want to do this for your man, because he's going to want to see this.” And I'm like, “Oh Linda, no, no, no.” But they are super interesting. Love Signs is this tome, and it has every possible pairing, and it's kind of fascinating. I love when a friend has just started seeing someone new, I'm like, “Let's get Linda out. Let's see what she's saying.” But no, I'm known for astrologically turbulent partnerships that seem to work really well. But yeah, I do remember looking up a potential boo, and Linda was basically like, “Stop right here. Go no further. This will lead to disaster.”
Hunter: Did you listen to her?
Lorde: No, I didn't. And it's all been great.
Yeah, I wanted to ask about... I guess I wanted to know, I felt that in watching that episode—and I keep talking about this episode because I just think it's so you. I mean, it's your thing. And I love the whole show.
Hunter: Thank you.
Lorde: The whole thing blows me away. But yeah, this episode, it's also the last bit of Euphoria that I've seen, so it's very fresh in my mind. Yeah, I felt that in writing that episode, I could feel you saying, “Here's some things that I maybe haven't seen about a trans femme experience. This is something that I want to portray.” I wanted to know if there were things that you want about trans portrayal, whether it's film or TV or books or music, whatever it is. Is there something that you... I mean, there's so much that needs to move forward, but are there particular things that you're like, “I really want to see that, I crave this”?
Hunter: Definitely. So many things. I mean, in general, I think the closest thing I have to a spirituality is I believe in people riding frequencies, or being in tune with certain frequencies based off of their experience, or whatever. Whatever that means. But I feel like there's specific frequencies that trans girls, in particular have. I can hear it in their music. I can see it in the style, there's an aesthetic and a sound. And I think that's something that I really want to keep trying to portray properly as I keep getting into directing and producing and writing, and all that stuff. Because it's delicious. And yeah, I want to see it, but with budget, you know? Like CGI budget. Like, good CGI budget, just like a Marvel-level CGI yumminess that it deserves, I think.
Lorde: Oh my God, can someone please finance this?
Lorde: It sounds so divine. I totally hear that. Magic.
Lorde: Animate that magic.
Hunter: There's a magic. It makes me think of Arca and SOPHIE. I don't know if you—
Lorde: Of course, of course. I’m such a big SOPHIE fan.
Hunter: You can just—or ANOHNI, you can hear it in their sound.
Lorde: Yeah. Yeah, ANOHNI, so beautiful.
Hunter: Yeah. I think about that a lot.
Lorde: That's so exciting.
Hunter: And then maybe, I mean, I really just want to see a trans girl love story too. Like two trans girls. Just, that's not a thing really in movies.
Lorde: Yeah, true. I feel like I haven't seen that.
Hunter: I haven't seen it either, I don't think.
Lorde: Ah, okay. Well we are voicing it now.
Hunter: Yeah, I want to see it.
Lorde: Who knows who might be listening to this podcast.
Lorde: This is what the girls want.
Hunter: Finance this. Okay, please. Thank you.
Lorde: That's really interesting.
Hunter: Is there anything in the world that you feel like is missing, just as far as what you consume? That you want to see?
Lorde: Oh, my God. I mean, there’s so much missing.
Lorde: Yeah. I mean, I guess just greater nuance of portrayal across the board. I don't think there was a beautiful trans girl teenager figure on TV when I was a kid. So that's a beautiful thing to see. But yeah, just going deeper and getting that nuance everywhere is super cool for me. But no, I don't know. I mean, I am a weird consumer of popular culture. I have found myself sort of peacing out a little bit on popular culture. I don't know why that is, I think—
Hunter: I was going to ask, because I know you're not on social media.
Lorde: Yeah. I think, honestly, part of it is from becoming someone who was creating popular culture quite young. Because I was obsessed with it growing up. It was like candy to me. I loved it. And there's something, you do lose a tiny bit of that magic being the one who's helping to fill the sausage. I don't know, that's a really weird metaphor, but see how the sausage is made, be the filling.
Hunter: Fill the sausage of mainstream media.
Lorde: Yeah. I remember a really famous songwriter, hanging out with him a lot. And he would only listen to jazz or Motown. I was like, "Oh, you never listened to anything modern." And he was like, "I can't, it's work. I'm in it, so I can't. I don't get enjoyment from that."
And I was like, oh my God. And while that's not fully true to me—I can totally get down to pop music—but there is an element of needing to just go to slightly different resources to fully let go and enjoy it. Because otherwise I'm like, “Oh yeah, that person was working with that person. I wonder how that went.” Dah, dah, dah. It was just a bit of—
Hunter: Because you know all these people, to some degree.
Lorde: Yeah, you know people. Yeah. But I've always been a big reader. And actually, since getting off social media I've just read more than ever. It's been such a year of reading, a couple years. I read a lot as a kid. Yeah. If you're spending seven hours on your phone, you just don't have the time.
Hunter: No. Definitely, not.
Lorde: That's been really amazing. And just trying to expose myself to different thinkers or people who are really just expanding horizons for me. I quoted Maggie Nelson in my speech the other day. I don't know if you have encountered her work at all, but I think you'd really like it. She wrote this amazing book called The Argonauts, which is like a real—
Hunter: Oh, I've heard about this, yeah.
Lorde: Yeah. A real beacon for a lot of queer kids. And really goes into the complexities of her relationship. But yeah, she's just an amazing thinker. I love her so much, she's really good. So I feel like in seeking out people like that, it helps for me to see what I want to be seeing.
Hunter: Yeah, that is inspiring. I cannot wait to delete this shit off my phone.
Lorde: No, you're so good at it. Some people, I’m like—you shine on the platform.
Hunter: Thank you.
Lorde: For me, I was like, "Okay, I guess I'm going to take a selfie and post it." Like it wasn't real. You're just cool and doing it. It works.
Hunter: Thank you. I'm trying. It's definitely more distant now than before.
Lorde: Good to have boundaries.
Hunter: Yeah. I think so.
Lorde: So you're filming at the moment, and by the time this comes out the show may be out?
Hunter: I think so.
Lorde: At some undisclosed date.
Hunter: I think so. Yes, we got a nod.
Lorde: Yes. How's that going?
Hunter: It's wild. I use that word a lot.
Lorde: Me too. It's a great word.
Hunter: It's a good one.
Hunter: Yeah. I heard yesterday we have six-ish weeks left, or we're supposed to, I think, which is kind of mind-blowing after—just going into filming one of these seasons, it's really like, "Peace." You just descend into this world that's completely not real, and then come back up like eight months later.
Lorde: Six weeks is a lot still. That seems like a long amount of time. But you've been doing it for eight months, that's crazy.
Hunter: I think in comparison to the entire season, it feels tiny. I'm like, "Oh my god."
Lorde: The light at the end of the tunnel.
Hunter: Yeah. It's been an intense season. Learned a lot about myself as a person, acting. I don't even know how to talk about it.
Lorde: No, it's okay. You're probably not allowed to talk about it. I'm like, "Give me the tea." I fully cannot wait, I'm so excited. I truly have three shows that I care about at all and this is a big one for me.
Hunter: Oh my God, thank you. Wait, what are the other—
Lorde: Oh, okay, let me think. Well, I love Succession, I'm a big Succession fan.
Hunter: Fuck yeah.
Lorde: What else do I like? I do like TV, I'm just bad, honestly it takes me—I have this weird thing where I'll say to myself, "Oh, I really want to watch that movie," and then it's almost like making a social engagement and then it gets to the day and you're like, "I don't feel like doing it anymore." I do that with movies, Hunter, literally for six months. I will put a movie on my list, and I haven't watched a movie—
Hunter: So you have a list?
Lorde: I have a list but I've been adding shit to it for years and I take off literally maybe one a year. Like I only watch maybe two or three movies a year. It's a problem, I don't know why. I find them so immersive and consumptive that I need to really be in the right space.
Hunter: Yeah, that sounds really intense.
Lorde: But yeah, First Reformed, A24 movie that I love a lot. That was one of the few a couple of years ago. And I just totally went down the rabbit hole of that. I can't recommend it enough. It's a really good one. But yeah, no I'm very excited for the show. What about you? How do you engage with TV? With film? What shows are you into?
Hunter: Yeah, it's kind of annoying, ever since getting into the making of this stuff.
Lorde: Right. It's the same thing, you're like, "I'm the sausage meat."
Hunter: Yeah. But it's also like I understand what it looks like outside of the frame, and what everyone's doing and now I've been trained to analyze—and somehow it becomes a game of analyzing and I'm like, "Hmm, yeah, they used that light there with that gel, and huh, was that the right decision?" So I feel like I'm only half-watching, I feel like I’ve got to watch things a few times to really absorb them. But I just trust that that will happen naturally if it's meant to. Like Fleabag I've watched several times or I May Destroy You several times.
Lorde: So good.
Hunter: Oh, you've seen that one?
Lorde: Oh my god, of course, yeah.
Hunter: Yeah, Michaela Coel is—
Lorde: I just got her book last week. She just wrote this book.
Lorde: It's like a little—she did this speech I think in 2018, and they sort of packaged it as a book. It’s just a little tome, it's called Misfits, it's so cool.
Hunter: Oh my God, I didn't know she had a book coming out.
Lorde: She's amazing. I'm obsessed with her.
Hunter: Yeah, me too.
Hunter: Just goals, entirely.
Lorde: Yeah, that one is really—that unfolds, for sure.
Hunter: Oh my God, insane, yeah. Just hearing about her process too, and she's also not on social media like you. She's cool like that.
Is there anything else we should cover before... I'm trying to think.
Lorde: I have a bunch of questions that I feel like I can ask them in my own time.
Hunter: Oh, one thing. Antarctica. I have to ask. I'm not even sure how to approach asking about it because it's fucking Antarctica, but when did you go? A couple years ago you went?
Lorde: I went at the beginning of 2019. So a while ago now. And I had been totally obsessed with it my whole childhood. I had had books on Antarctica, because New Zealand is seven hours away. So you're closest than most countries.
Hunter: Wow, I didn't even think about that.
Lorde: Yeah. So you sort of grow up knowing all about it. And yeah, I was just so into the history and the race to the South Pole. It was this big dramatic, sort of 20th-century explorer ship, people were going on behalf of the queen—it was psychotic—and dying, it was so dramatic. But so I was really into it then, and then starting to engage more with our planet, I was sort of like, "Oh my God, I think I need to go there." I had the reaction which you're kind of not supposed to have, which is like, people call it last-chance tourism, like, "I got to go there before it's too late." And that was my first thought on going to Antarctica. And actually going there and having that experience made me realize, "Oh, no. You cannot go around doing this. This is actually opposite of what you're supposed to do."
Hunter: What do you mean?
Lorde: Well, I probably shouldn't have gone to Antarctica. Just this pop star, it was probably kind of naughty to use those resources and burn that jet fuel. But, I wrote this book and the proceeds went to a couple of scholarships for people to do their doctorates in climate science, so I feel like that was a nice way of going back. But it was so amazing, Hunter, it really was the best five days of my entire life. I will never do anything like it again. It was so crazy from start to finish.
You get in this plane, which is like a military plane, like an American military plane, which looks nothing like a normal plane. It's like exposed wire and just sacking, and you really do feel like you're going to space. Like, you're departing any normal world that you've existed in before. And then you just land on the ice, there's no runway, and conditions have to be perfect to fucking land on the ice. And it's totally light, it was two in the morning when we arrived and it was bright sunlight because it doesn't get dark all summer, it's just light, because you're obviously so close to the pole. So it's just like these layers of insanity. And it's a sunny day, and I remember standing on a beach and the water was glistening and a scientist told me, "That water is actually sub-freezing, it's colder than ice because it has salt in it so it can go colder than ice." And I was like, "Oh my God, it feels like I could just dip in here."
Hunter: Did you touch it?
Lorde: No, it was colder than ice.
Hunter: No. That's probably a terrible idea.
Lorde: Yeah, I guess I could have, I had my gloves on. But just that contemplation of the environment at all times. Because I think lots of people ask me, like, "Did you see climate change firsthand?" And I was like, "No." Because you can't, as someone who's just visiting for the first time, what you see and what you feel is just this force like nothing I've ever felt. You are totally in servitude to this presence, this natural power and you spend your whole day thinking about what's happening outside and what will be happening and just trying to walk among that as sensitively as you can. But it was insane, there were just these huge seals everywhere, like half-ton seals just asleep, you just sort of walk past. I went out with these whale scientists in this helicopter at like 10:00 at night, again, full sunshine, and we flew over this channel and they were looking for orca to track, and we landed on the ice and just seeing these orca coming out of the water.
Hunter: You saw them?
Lorde: Yeah. Like as far away as you are.
Hunter: Oh my God. No way.
Lorde: Yeah. It was insane. And just the whole thing.
Hunter: That is mind blowing.
Lorde: Yeah. It was so spiritual.
Hunter: I'm curious what it sounded like there. What was the sound?
Lorde: It sounds like nothing, there's no sound.
Hunter: Just dead quiet?
Lorde: Well, the weather was good when I was there, there was no wind, but there's nothing for it to blow through, there's no trees. So the silence is like no silence you've ever heard. It almost has a sound, it's so quiet. Like you can hear your heartbeat, you can hear the blood in your ears.
Lorde: Yeah, it's insane.
Hunter: That sounds so crazy.
Lorde: I can't tell anyone to go there, because you shouldn't be a tourist down there. But if you ever, I don't know, have a career change and become a biologist and get a chance to go down there, definitely go, it's unbelievable.
Hunter: Yeah, you really sold it.
Hunter: Thank you for enlightening me.
Lorde: You're so welcome. This was a delight.
Hunter: This was fun. I liked this.
Lorde: I'm really happy we could do this.
Hunter: Me too.
Lorde: I'll be your fan forever.
Hunter: Aw, you too.
Lorde: And I'm so excited for the new season of Euphoria.
Hunter: Thank you. I'm so excited to see these new Solar Power videos that are coming.
Lorde: Well, I have to get you along to a show.
Hunter: Yeah. Oh my God, I would die.
Lorde: I love it.
Hunter: Thank you.
Lorde: Thank you so much. And I love you.
Hunter: Love you.
Speaker: Thanks for listening. The A24 Podcast is produced by us, A24. Special thanks to our editor Thom Wyatt, and Robot Repair, who composed our theme.