Rememorating Edie Sedgwick

Jake Gyllenhaal and Hayden Christensen in "This is our youth" (2002).Jake Gyllenhaal and Hayden Christensen in "Elle" magazine.
Hayden Christensen on the campaign of the new Lacoste fragrance, Challenge (available in May 2009).
Sienna Miller and Hayden Christensen in the film "Factory Girl" (2006).Sienna Miller and Guy Pierce as Edie and Andy in the film "Factory Girl" (2006).
Sienna wants to hear Edie's voice and has been told that the brilliant artist René Ricard might have rare film footage he shot back in the day. Sienna is familiar with the hotel: Her father's guru still has a practice on the seventh floor.

I take Sienna behind the front desk and introduce her to the legendary proprietor, Stanley Bard. "You look like Edie," Bard says delightedly. "What was she like?" she asks. Bard shrugs. "When she wasn't using, she was fine. But she was a drug addict. I remember Nico, I remember Ultra Violet.… It was like a cult." He directs us to Edie's old place on the first floor. "It probably hasn't changed since she left," he says, and he may well be right. Sienna, squinting as she surveys the room, says, "This is where she had the fire. This is where she crawled on her hands and knees." Back at the front desk, she asks Bard what caused the fire. "Candles and cigarettes," he says with the stoicism of one who has endured more than a few youthquakers in his time. "The usual."

René Ricard, meanwhile, is not answering his phone. Nevertheless, the consensus is that he's: a) upstairs and b) too volatile to be approached directly by Sienna. "You can't go up there," Bard says. "He's paranoid." He turns to a passing hotel resident."This is the girl who's going to play Edie," he says. "Can you take her up to see René?" The tenant edges toward the elevator. "No, man, I just got back from Europe today. I can't. He's crazy." I ask another. "Don't ruin my day," he replies. "He's crazy." Finally, another painter—a young Texan in a cowboy hat who sits all night in the lobby working on a picture of the lobby—strides over and says to Sienna, "I'll take you up, ma'am. I can do this."

Brigid and Sienna have been collaborating to ensure that Edie, an icon of unknowability as much as anything, has some psychological substance as a screen character. Berlin, Sedgwick's friend, says, "Sienna's very brave to take this on"—not least, in Berlin's view, because capturing Edie essentially involves capturing a very fleeting moment in time. When Sienna frets about getting Sedgwick's elusive voice right, Berlin reassures her. "You're just dealing with somebody who didn't have a long life. It's the press. They make it out now—it's 2005—like she was this great superstar. It doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have much to work with." Berlin doesn't think Miller need lose a pound to play the sylph, although the actress has told me privately that she will: "If you are going to do that character, you have to go there. And she was skinnier than me. She was scary-kinny." Berlin passes on one vital tip:
"Edie didn't take off her false eyelashes. She just put more on." Source:

"One person in the '60s really fascinated me more than anybody", Warhol once said."In George Hickenlooper's film, one only has to enter Sedgwick's orbit for a second before falling madly in love with her. And no one fell harder than Warhol, portrayed by "Memento's" great Guy Pearce.

Pearce plays Andy as a subtly powerful but emotionally restrained wallflower, a man whose Factory provides an artistic refuge and haven for bruised souls like Sedgwick, whose father, the film tells us, was her first kiss.

Clearly, you can quibble with "Factory Girl's" verisimilitude, its purely skin-deep study of pop art, its script, which never truly pulls off Sedgwick's progression from college cutie to drugged-out dishrag, and Hickenlooper's directorial lapses, which rely too often on obvious crazy-'60s movie standards".