Pop Culture

How “Uncut Gems” Actress Julia Fox Is Keeping Nightlife Alive in Quarantine

We asked 24 of our favorite minds—including Robert Pattinson, Dua Lipa, Offset, Desus + Mero, and more—what they’re discovering about art, and about themselves, in this age of isolation. See how they’re all staying creative in the time of quarantine here.

Uncut Gems, Josh and Benny Safdie’s jewelry-heist love letter to New York monomania, turned niche neighborhood legends into figures of national intrigue. But Julia Fox, playing the hustling hottie girlfriend to Adam Sandler’s antihero “Howieeee,” emerged as a fully formed, once-in-a-generation talent. She is one of those people who are built to become movie stars.

Fox’s bewitching combination of innocence and moxie transcends the screen. Prior to Gems, she celebrated the erotic in all its glorious possibilities (a high school gig as a dominatrix; designing a beloved line of sexual knitwear; an art show of silk canvases streaked with her blood called “RIP Julia Fox”), while earning a reputation as the ultimate New York party girl. And just before the pandemic, Fox—who is 29, or 30, or 28, depending on what you read (perhaps because she has a celluloid star’s grasp of origin myths)—was plotting a big new life, moving to Los Angeles and filing for divorce. (“We’re friendly, but we’re not together,” she says of her soon-to-be ex, Peter Artemiev. “He’s still my friend. I’m sure he would like it to be more, but it’s not happening.”) The world couldn’t wait to see what this magnetic persona would do next with her Elizabeth Taylor–level commitment to false eyelashes and getting what she wants.

Julia Fox, photographed in downtown Manhattan in the middle of the night by her best friend, Richie Shazam.

Now, she says, “that is definitely on pause. There is nothing coming in.” But the woman who embodies the art of staying out and up all night has still found a way to do just that, roaming through the empty, moonlit Big Apple. These pictures capture one such eve, when Fox and best friend–slash-photographer Richie Shazam logged 22,000 steps strolling the new, dystopian cityscape. “You can kind of do whatever you want outside because no one’s there,” she says, ruminating on her attire for this particular photo shoot.

Seeing her hometown deserted is “really something unforgettable, but I want to go back to the utopia that is Los Angeles,” says Fox, who speaks in a kind of cinematic slow-mo, turning “Los Angeles” into a stretch of sun-drenched gravel, a kind of vocal-fried onomatopoeia.

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