Natasha Lyonne believes the traumatic family history – her grandmother was an Auschwitz survivor – deeply affected her life choices.
Yes, the four-time Emmy nominee ponders the big questions while promoting the second season of her Netflix series, “Russian Doll,” which premieres Wednesday.
“I obviously had a very checkered past, to say the least, and I’ve been very open about it,” Lyonne, 43, told The Post in her sandpaper voice. . “And it’s like along the way, you’re supposed to dig a little bit to find meaning in life other than self-destruction.”
Discussing her highly publicized struggle with drug addiction in her early years, she said: “I don’t think you can take Hitler out of the equation, especially the way I experienced my teenage years. I have almost been unable to reconcile the real weight of what it means that this can happen and that it can happen within a family line so close to you.
The New York native further suggested that even trying to reflect on the profound effects of the Holocaust was too overwhelming.
“It’s too big a concept to deal with, and I think it happens quite frequently, especially because of social media,” she said. “It’s like we’re constantly inundated with ideas that are too big to hold.”
In the first season of “Russian Doll,” Lyonne’s character is caught in a loop that has her attending a party and then dying – only to wake up, unscathed, and live the same day again. This season once again delves into the topics of mortality and existentialism as it bounces between generations and countries.
While the veteran actress — she made her debut at the age of 6, playing Opal on ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse’ in 1986 — isn’t sure she believes in time travel, Lyonne said she was at least “very curious about ‘the main types of scientific concepts’ surrounding it.
“I’m a high school dropout,” the ‘Orange Is the New Black’ star revealed, “so I certainly don’t pretend to know a lot about quantum physics or anything, but I’ve definitely read a lot of books and I’m doing something about it. It certainly piqued my curiosity.
As for what’s next for Lyonne, she’s also looking at her off-camera work.
“Listen, I love Rosalind Russell. I love Barbara Stanwyck. I even love Jean Harlow,” the “American Pie” vixen said in her signature raspy New Yawk accent, projecting the aura of a former actress. Hollywood.
“I’ve always liked it rat-a-tat rush of old days. But maybe add some of those Hungarians who ran the studio, because that’s where I’m trying to get to. I like being backstage too, so I’ll take it all, please ma’am, and thank you.