Taryn It Up

Taryn Manning finds her raison d'etre in "Hustle and Flow."

And while Nola’s wardrobe consisted of authentic hooker gear (Brewer sought out the same stores where actual working girls shop), Manning couldn’t resist bringing her signature style to the film. “I brought a bunch of my own things — a bathing suit top, a Miss Sixty skirt, a Born Uniqorn tube top — to the set,” she says. “Maybe people will pick up on the look. Trends hit so fast, but I always try to find the next thing because they get so old and tired. Like boots over jeans here [at Sundance]. That is just taking over the world,” she says, rolling her eyes.

Manning is dressed in white Miss Sixty jeans, a Born Uniqorn fleece hoodie and white vintage Tecnica nylon booties bought off eBay. She had better look cool. Now that the Paramount/MTV-funded “Hustle and Flow” marketing machine has kicked into gear, Manning is ready to put herself on the line again. “I’m looking for a Born Uniqorn backer, and a new record deal for my second album,” she says (the single “Don’t Be So Shy” is already on the soundtrack of her next film, “A Lot Like Love” co-starring Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet). And, like any good actress-singer, she’s developing a reality special about how she made it big.

“I’m going to be pitching MTV. Look what it did for Ashlee Simpson. I want to get in on that game.”
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