Courtney opens up about her love for Hedi Slimane, her new music and her gig as the unlikely spokesperson of electronic cigarette brand NJOY.


Courtney Love in Hedi Slimane's Saint Laurent Spring campaign

Courtney Love is full of surprises as of late – not so surprising, given it’s Courtney Love, but more to the point… Have you noticed her Twitter support for NJOY? (For those who didn’t witness every Fashion Week hipster puffing on one in New York, it’s a brand of electronic cigarette.)

Love’s credited it helping her go from three to one pack-a-day, and now she’s the unlikely face of its latest campaign. Less surprising is yesterday’s big reveal: Love, joined by Marilyn Manson, Kim Gordon, and Ariel Pink, is fronting the newest Saint Laurent campaign.

Read on for her thoughts on Hedi Slimane‘s grunge collection, the important advice she took from David LaChapelle and Drew Barrymore, and the thing that still pisses her off the most – namely, where are her fucking keys to the city of Malibu?

How long have you been a smoker? And… why NJOY?

I’ve been smoking since I was 11; I think I started with Kools or Virginia Slim Menthols or something ridiculous. I liked NJOY because they have the throat kick that’s like smoking a real cigarette. I was able to go to opera at the Met and do my face in the bathroom and have an NJOY. And every time these ladies would start bitching at me, I’m like, “It’s a fake cigarette!” Then I went to a screening and everyone was smoking my NJOY – one of the Kennedy kids, André Balazs, everyone. I can’t tell you how much it’s changed my life. If I go out tonight, I can go to Cipriani’s, I can go to the Met Ball and I can fucking SMOKE, if you will.

Some people still get a lot of side-eye because they look so much like the real thing.

It looks like a cigarette so people get offended, which just shows you the moral condition of what being a smoker is. There’s a whole generation of smokers in this country and we’re looked upon like we’re crackheads.

But you’re really into these things, right? You’re not like, the new face of Pepsi but chugging Diet Cokes backstage.

This isn’t Jenny Craig – I don’t have to quit. But I’ve cut back smoking on my own without trying. I almost smoked three packs a day and now I’m down to a pack, which is insane for me. I still enjoy smoking, but it gives me a choice and that’s the important thing.  Sometimes [real cigarettes] are really enjoyable – there’s nothing like an after sex cigarette.

Let’s talk about some of your other projects, like your upcoming clothing line. What made you venture into fashion?

Back in 2008, some stylist told me that Versace didn’t wanna dress me. I called David LaChapelle crying and he said, “Those guys paid you two hundred thousand dollars for you to wear a grey fucking mini skirt? Since when did you fucking give a shit? Make your own fucking clothes.” I never depended on [designers] before; I don’t depend on them now. If Hedi makes me his muse, that’s great. And I really, really, really love the pre-fall and the first Saint Laurent seasons – that’s my uniform for onstage. They could’ve been a little more generous with the blouses, I have to say!

Speaking of Hedi, your tweets about his grunge collection made fashion bloggers lose their minds. What’d you really mean?

I just find it hilarious that in three months time or however long it takes, women are gonna pay six thousand dollars for a fucking trench coat that cost us $4.99 back in the day. He got that look absolutely right. It’s not my look – I’ve never worn a Doctor Marten in my life, thank you very much! My feet are already big enough and I’m already too butch.

You seem like you stick to your guns when it comes to projects and collabs.

That’s true. With the movie stuff, I wasn’t that smart on some of the projects I passed on. I got offered serious money for [biopic] Joplin and Drew Barrymore gave me advice, like, “You’re doing that movie for the quote.” And I’m like, “I’m gonna go around for the rest of my life and people are gonna go, ‘You’re Janis Joplin!’ I’m not gonna have a fucking identity!” I don’t regret the decision at all. Whatever million I got would be gone by now… or not, depending on how I invested it.

While we’re on the subject of acting, will you be doing your thing on the big screen anytime soon?

I just joined an amazing talent agency called Resolution – they’re the shark that’s eating up Hollywood. Jeff Berg, who started it, is the only agent in Hollywood who said to me, “When you feel like doing films again, knock on my door.” When I quit Adderall and all of the prescription medications and was ready to act again, I went. He’s really tough; he doesn’t hold hands. But he kept his fucking word.


Courtney Love in Hedi Slimane's Saint Laurent Spring campaign

So spill – what’s happening with your music?

I have two A-sides coming out in mid April and I tour through June and July, playing about 70 shows. I had six songs, but I decided to pick the two excellent songs instead of four really good songs and two excellent songs. I’m doing an iTunes exclusive.

And you named one of these excellent songs ‘California’. Discuss!

I keep writing about California so I just finally called a song straight up fucking California. Not even Malibu, which I still don’t have the keys to the city and I’m really pissed – 13,000 people and they don’t give me the fucking keys to the city! It’s like when Billy Corgan told me he was calling a song ‘Tonight, Tonight’. I was like, “If that song isn’t the best fucking song I’ve ever heard, you will be carted out of town on a cross.” You don’t call a song ‘Tonight, Tonight’ or ‘California’ unless you know it’s major.

You’re on a goddamn roll. Anything else the world can look forward to from you?

I don’t know if it’s gonna happen or not, but they’re looking at me to judge one of these talent shows. Some people go on them and they have butterflies come out of their ass. I’m not saying I’m gonna go on and be a cunt, but I would just be myself. I’m not afraid to be honest. I always said I would never, ever, ever do one, but I’m not talking about the one judging dogs – it’s the other one, I don’t wanna say the name of it. If Ellen DeGeneres can be a judge, I mean, hello?

We can only imagine the amount of reality show offers you’ve received over the years…

I’ve said no to the funniest shit. There was one where they wanted me to do the Iron Chef of taxidermy. I don’t want the controversy around me – it’s boring and I’m done with it. But at some point last year, Charlie Sheen had a Comedy Central roast and they actually asked me to do that. I was like, “I just went to the opera… in a Marchesa tulle dress with my NJOY!”


Words: Alex Catarinella


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