Nearly two decades ago, Leelee Sobieski had a promising career ahead of her, but she as time marched on, she transformed from an in-demand actress to someone who demanded more out of life. Here’s why you don’t hear much from Leelee Sobieski anymore.
Leelee Sobieski’s career started off red hot
By the end of the ’90s, Leelee Sobieski appeared to be well on her way to carving out a solid career for herself in Hollywood. After various roles on TV, she landed a small part in the 1998 blockbuster Deep Impact, which she followed with a much more substantial role in the Drew Barrymore comedy Never Been Kissed (1999) and the title role in the CBS mini-series Joan of Arc (1999), which earned her Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.
This up-and-coming actress, who bore a remarkable resemblance to actress Helen Hunt, had caught Hollywood’s eye. Acclaimed director Stanley Kubrick cast her in what would become his final movie, Eyes Wide Shut (1999). By all accounts, her career was looking good.
And then Here on Earth happened
Like many actors of that era, both male and female, Leelee Sobieski got saddled with lame roles in sappy teen dramas. This included the 2000 bomb Here on Earth, which was destroyed by critics and tanked at the box office, earning just over $10.5 million total. What went wrong? Uh, the LA Weekly review called the film "utter horsesh*t," if that gives you any hints.
The Glass House was laughable
Leelee Sobieski’s next major movie role came by way of the 2001 thriller The Glass House. She played a teen who moves in with some pretty sketchy parental guardians following the sudden death of her parents. Much like other teen thrillers of that era (Teaching Mrs. Tingle, anyone?), critics saw right through the film’s lame twists and turns (get it?) and slapped it with universally bad reviews. Even prominent publications such as The New York Times declared the movie was more funny than scary, which is never a great sign.
The movie also flopped at the box office. In its defense, considering it was released three days after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, it probably never stood a chance.
Leelee Sobieski’s Joy Ride was destined to fail
Box office numbers were incredibly low in the weeks after September 11, so Leelee Sobieski’s next film, Joy Ride, seemed destined to flop when it hit theaters Oct. 5, 2001. Although the nation was understandably grieving, it was still likely a bummer for those involved in the film, which had received solid reviews from critics. Regardless, Joy Ride came and went without much fanfare.
Leelee Sobieski’s next batch of movies were too low-key
Leelee Sobieski’s career continued to slow down. She landed roles in a number of films that were so low key you probably never heard of them. Titles included L’idole (2002), Lying (2006) and In a Dark Place (2006). This era also included a role in the bizarro remake of The Wicker Man (2006), but let’s be honest: isn’t Nicolas Cage to blame for that one?
Leelee Sobieski was nominated for a Razzie
By 2009, Leelee Sobieski had gone from the Emmys to the Razzies, receiving a worst supporting actress nomination for two separate movies: 88 Minutes (2008) and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2008). The former holds a 5 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes; the latter earned a 4 percent rating and was directed by the infamous Uwe Boll. If the bulky title wasn’t a big enough clue to the film’s quality, the fact that it was directed by the same guy who directed Alone in the Dark (2005) should do the trick.
Leelee Sobieski’s TV comeback went kaput
Around the start of the ’10s (or whatever we’re calling them these days), Leelee Sobieski returned to television, where she found considerable acclaim in the early days of her career. Unfortunately, that success could not be replicated. She had two small guest spots on Drop Dead Diva (2010) and The Good Wife (2011), and then CBS pulled the plug on her cop drama series, NYC 22 (2012) after just one season. By that point, Sobieski’s acting credits had nearly ground to a halt. As of this writing, she’s had exactly two roles since 2012, playing "Stalker" in the 2016’s The Last Film Festival, and the lead role in the 2018 TV Movie Amerikali Kiz.
Leelee Sobieski has new priorities
Don’t worry. Leelee Sobieski’s screen failures haven’t sent her into a depressive tailspin. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. In recent years, she has moved onto bigger and better things, like starting a family. She’s the proud mother of daughter Louisanna (born in 2009) and son Martin (born in 2014), and those kids are her top priority. "I don’t do movie stuff anymore," she told Us Weekly in 2012. "I am totally an outsider!…just a mom and an outsider."
"Like most moms, I’m always busy," she told Vogue in 2012. "Giving Lewi a bath, buying milk, cleaning something, making some decision, reading weird baby blogs, worrying I disciplined in the wrong way."
When asked what would get her act again, Sobieski said, "Maybe if I’m playing sweet grandma. [But] I am just focused on my kids. I think that’s mainly why I stopped."
Props to you, Leelee.
Leelee Sobieski has a secret hobby
Leelee Sobieski still flexes her creative muscles, telling Us Weekly that she assists her husband, fashion designer Adam Kimmel, whom she married in an intimate ceremony in Italy in 2010. "I help my husband with what he does," she said. "And I paint, secretly!"
When she is with family, their 4,800-square-foot Tribeca loft is also filled with "an extraordinary collection of works" by famed artists, according to Vogue. In fact, "a spare bedroom was for a while referred to as ‘the George Herms room,’ since the artist—whose collages line a wall near Lewi’s play area—was their first overnight guest."
Leelee Sobieski isn’t into having sex on screen
Leelee Sobieski has admitted in multiple interviews over the years that her marriage to Kimmel, her second husband, has changed the way she looks at roles given to women in Hollywood. "Ninety percent of acting roles involve so much sexual stuff with other people, and I don’t want to do that," she told Vogue in 2012. "It’s such a strange fire to play with, and our relationship is surely strong enough to handle it, but if you’re going to walk through fire, there has to be something incredible on the other side."
She also told OK! that she’s only interested in sharing her body with her husband. "I feel like there’s something that changes when a woman is more developed in the chest area, where you have to be more demure, because, knowing from experience, when I was younger and so excited [motions to chest] that this thing changed on my body that wasn’t supposed to, because my mother was not endowed in a similar fashion, and then when it happened to me, from my grandmother, I was so excited—I really wanted to show the world!" She said. "And now, I realize that it’s for my husband, and when I keep it to myself, it’s more alluring."