One part hipster (you’ve probably never heard of them) and one part fame: IndieMainstream couples have the ability to propel themselves to new levels of coolness. How? By appealing to both worlds. The indie half appeals to the mainstream’s cable-subscribing, mall-going superfans. And the mainstream half gets indie cred by association. These are facts.
ANDY SAMBERG & JOANNA NEWSOM
Andy Samberg hangs out with the likes of Justin Timberlake, writing musical masterpieces about male pant-accidents and genitals in boxes. He’s on a show called Saturday Night Live. You may have heard of it.
Joanna Newsom is a cute-as-hell indie princess, with a shockingly strange (but endearing) voice. She plays the harp. THE HARP.
CHLOE SEVIGNY + JARVIS COCKER
Chloe maintains an indie charm. But, is she indie, really? We think not. She’s pocketed oscar nods, been on HBO, starred alongside Christian Bale and Reese Witherspoon, and has been named a fashion ‘it girl’. And she designs for cool-creators Opening Ceremony. So, there’s that.
Jarvis Cocker is the lead singer of the band Pulp. He always wear glasses. People questioned why they never fell off, even when he head trashed on stage. The answer: they were secured by a huge elastic band. The more you know.
CLAIRE DANES + BEN LEE
Claire Danes started her life of fame and success as a precarious, self-seeking teen on a little show called My So Called Life. And the rest was history. She went on to star in Romeo and Juliette (perhaps the most mainstream story of all time?) and more movies you’ve probably seen alongside people you’ve certainly heard of like Sarah Jessica Parker, Steve Martin, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, etc, etc, etc.
Ben Lee is an Australian indie pop artist whose Wikipedia page is quite short, and is now married to a lady with the name Ione Skye. Look at that face.
DREW BARRYMORE + FABRIZIO MORETTI
Oh, Drew. Born into Hollywood. Smoking cigarettes by 9. Drinking by 11. Rolling joints by 12. Consuming cocaine by 13. And straight into rehab. Drew was Young Hollywood before Young Hollywood was a thing. She continued to star in every romantic comedy in Hollywood, alongside every romantic comedy actor in Hollywood, and proceeded to marry approximately half of them.
Fabrizio Moretti is the drummer in indie post-punk-revival band The Strokes. Are The Strokes indie, though? Wikipedia says yes, and they’re usually right. Either way, Moretti started another ultra-indie band called Little Joy (you’ve probably never heard of them) with now girlfriend Binki Shapiro (is that not the most indie name, ever?) and another indie musician who, again, you’ve probably never heard of.
GIOVANNI RIBISI + CAT POWER
Giovanni Ribisi. You may remember him as Phoebe’s brother on Friends? Friends – perhaps the second most mainstream TV show of all time. Or, maybe, you saw him in Avatar – perhaps the most mainstream sci-fi of all time, directed by perhaps the most mainstream blockbuster creator of all time.
Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power, is the female Leonard Cohen of our generation. There, we said it. She gets drunk on stage, suffers from stage freight, and sometimes cuts her concerts short with no notice. She’s a tiny bit like Feist, except waaaaay more indie. That’s all.
BON IVER + KATHLEEN EDWARDS
Bon Iver (Justin Vernon, but we’ll call him Bon Iver, just because) used to be somewhat of an indie king. Then he collabo’d with Kanye. That sort of ruined his indie cred. Now, his name is second priority to Radiohead on the Coachella lineup.
Justin’s skinny lover Kathleen Edwards is a Canadian singer-songwriter with a penchant for über Canadian song titles like Six O’Clock News and Hockey Skates.
Bon Iver: 157,903 followers
Kathleen Edwards: 5,217 followers
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY + JAMES RIGHTON
Skinny, skinny, Keira Knightley has starred alongside Johnny Depp in the Pirates series, some epic period pieces, and probably the best (albeit mainstream) holiday film of all time: Love, Actually. In 2008, she was named the second highest paid actress in Hollywood. Indie starlets don’t make that kind of money. They just don’t.
James Righton is a member of the British indie rock band Klaxons. He doesn’t even have his own Wikipedia page.
NATALIE PORTMAN + DEVENDRA BANHART
Remember when we said Avatar was the most mainstream sci-fi of all time? Well, we take that back. Star Wars is. And Natalie Portman was in it. She was also in The Black Swan – you may have heard of it, it was the most exhausted Halloween costume of 2011. One of her lesser-known roles was the female lead in then-boyfriend Devendra’s freak-folk-fake-Indian video Carmensita.
Devendra Banhart is every indie girl’s bearded artsy dream. He is the male Joanna Newsom. Except he once starred in an Oliver Peoples campaign, which made him a smidge less indie.
KATE MOSS + PETE DOHERTY
Kate Moss. There isn’t much more to say than that.
Pete Doherty’s indie-ness may be something you feel inclined to debate. But remember, his mainstream appeal is largely as a result of Moss-Association (and subsequent tabloid frenzies). You probably never heard of him before the Kate Days, and you probably haven’t heard anything about him since the end of those days. Right? Right.
ZOOEY DESCHANEL + BEN GIBBARD
Zooey, awesomely named after Salinger’s Franny & Zooey, is the most lovable, cute, indie-esque mainstream star there is. She’s the star of a hit television programme on FOX, has been in a zillion successful movies, but that wasn’t enough, so now she’s becoming a YouTube star.
Ben Gibbard, despite his widespread success, still maintains a significant level of indie-ness. It’s relative indie-ness. Relative to Zooey, that is. Beschanel broke up just about a month ago, so we’ll see what the future holds for the indie-emo singer.
Did we miss any monumental IndieMainstream couples? Please, do share.