Hannah Marks On ‘Dirk Gently’ And Learning To Play The Drums

Photographed by Ellie McLean. Styled by Laura Mazza.

The show premieres on October 22

The following feature appears in the September 2016 issue of NYLON.

“You’re not going to be impressed by this at all,” says Hannah Marks as she searches for a video that shows off her newly acquired drumming skills. Sitting in the shade at a coffee shop in Studio City in Los Angeles, Marks continues to scroll through her phone with purpose. “Where is it? Oh no, hold on. This is crucial.”

The 23-year-old actress learned to play the drums for her latest role in BBC America’s Dirk Gently, an eccentric dark comedy about an unusual detective and his assistant, Todd (played by Samuel Barnett and Elijah Wood respectively), who solve one sprawling mystery per season. Marks plays Amanda, a former drummer in a punk band who is also the title character’s sister. “It was really fun and wild,” Marks says of her experience shooting the Max Landis-penned show, which is inspired by the Douglas Adams book series. 

Her character, she explains, is plagued by a nerve disease that leaves her agoraphobic. Marks admits it’s not too far off from her own personality, citing the “death machines” that are cars as her main phobia. It was her father who kindly drove her to this interview. “Everyone jokes that I’m perfect for this character because I’m so useless,” she says. “I am very afraid of a lot of things. I get scared easily and I have a lot of anxiety, so I can easily channel Amanda.”

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Influenced by her mother, a former actress, Marks’s career began at age 11 when she landed a role in Accepted opposite Jonah Hill and Justin Long. A few years later she acted alongside Kristen Stewart in The Runaways. Then there was a moment in 10th grade where she tried the typical high school trajectory, but found that it was “the worst thing ever.” She adds, “When you’re used to being homeschooled and being alone all the time, being thrown into this extremely social environment is terrifying.”

Off set, Marks spends most of her time writing, and recently finished a script for a movie called Eskimo Sisters. She put the project on hold for Dirk Gently, but plans to dive in headfirst once she has time. “I can write and I can act and I can direct, and hopefully people can take me seriously enough to let me direct a little tiny film,” she says. “It’s the main goal I’m working toward. And just becoming an adult woman that people will listen to. I think that’s the main challenge.” She finds the video on her phone, and despite her warning, her skills are pretty damn impressive.

Dress by Ksubi, top by Pari Desai. Hair: David Stanwell at The Wall Group using Kérastase. Makeup: Kelsey Deenihan at The Wall Group using Mark.

Photographed by Ellie McLean. Styled by Laura Mazza.

Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.



Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

"In the midst of chaos there's opportunity"

Following the travesty that was Fyre Festival, Ja Rule wants to take another stab at creating a music festival. Good luck getting that off the ground.

On Thursday, the rapper spoke to TMZ, where he revealed that he was planning to relaunch Icon, an app used to book entertainers, which is similar to Billy McFarland's Fyre app. He told the outlet that he wanted to create a festival similar to Fyre to support it.

"[Fyre Festival] is heartbreaking to me. It was something that I really, really wanted to be special and amazing, and it just didn't turn out that way, but in the midst of chaos there's opportunity, so I'm working on a lot of new things," he says. He then gets into the fact that he wants to form a music festival. "[Fyre] is the most iconic festival that never was... I have plans to create the iconic music festival, but you didn't hear it from me."

Ja Rule actually doesn't seem to think he is at all responsible for what came from Fyre Fest, claiming in a Twitter post that he was "hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, led astray." Even if that's his feeling, he should realize that anyone involved with Fyre shouldn't ever try their hand at music festivals again.