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Dua Lipa Admits She ‘Isn’t Very Good at Therapy’

One way to win Dua Lipa‘s heart? Be down to split a tray of oysters with her. “Hell yeah! My kind of girl,” she exclaimed as we dug into the popular L.A. restaurant Gjelina’s lengthy menu in search of plates to share for lunch. “We should definitely get some oysters.”

Like the order we put in that day, Lipa was generous with juicy album and life details as well as a number of personal recommendations during our chats for her February cover story. From more info on her hotly-anticipated third album to both old and unlikely celebrity friendships she’s made along the way, here are some of the best outtakes from the interviews.

DL3 is all Dua.

Much like the OG version of Future Nostalgia, there will be no featured artists on Lipa’s third album (though that doesn’t rule out duets or remixes in the future, of course). “Sometimes it’s hard to explain to someone your vision,” she says. “It’s also hard to envision someone on it. I think the songs are just so full, and these stories were so personal that I felt like only I really wanted to tell them.”

The album does feature plenty of behind-the-scenes contributors: Caroline Ailin, Danny L Harle, Tobias Jesso Jr., and Kevin Parker served as Lipa’s “band,” with co-writing and production credits on more than half of the songs. She also wrote some of the new material with Andrew Wyatt, Billy Walsh, Ali Tamposi, and Julia Michaels. 

She considers herself a “hopeless romantic.”

DL3 centers largely on Lipa’s experiences being single; she would go into the studio with her collaborators and use her experiences dating as songwriting ammunition. She ended up learning a lot about herself in the process. “I think I have an idea of the kind of person I am in love and relationships, and I feel like it’s everything or nothing,” she says. “When I’m with someone, I’m there to just give it my 100 percent, my all.”

She describes herself as a “hopeless romantic” who tends to think about relationships optimistically: “I used to always ignore the red flag, and I think I also realized that the red flag shows up pretty early on. More often than not, I’ve chosen to ignore it. And then later down the line, it’s exactly the reason why things don’t work out.”

Red flags or not, she’s thankful for her single experience. “It’s easy for me to talk about singledom, and really the good bits about it,” she says, with the particular era that inspired this album behind her now. “Had it not been for the time that I had spent writing these songs and understanding myself, I probably wouldn’t have known what I wanted, or how I saw my relationship being, or the kind of person I was supposed to be with, or whatever it is. Every experience is such a lesson. Thank God for my new album. It’s taught me so much.”

She doesn’t go to therapy.

“I’m not very good at therapy, to be honest,” she admits. For her own self-care, she opts for meditation and yoga. “As much as I’m disciplined in so many areas of my life — or I try to be — I have a little bit of a harder time locking myself down to talk about how I feel. I think that in part is down to the fact that I think I have a really easy communication with my friends. I talk to my friends about everything that’s happening.” Her description of how she communicates with the people around her sounds pretty healthy, with Lipa using “directness” to keep things from turning toxic when feelings are hurt. 

“I like closing the circle, and that lets me move forward. I think when things stay open, or not confronting a problem, you can get stuck in a loop of negativity, or upset, or what someone thinks of you, or the anxiety, or all those things. So that’s just worked for me, and helped me overall.”

She’s remained quite close with Tove Lo and Charli XCX.

Most of the singer’s inner circle are made up of lifelong friends from before she was famous and the songwriters she’s spent the most time working closely with (Caroline Ailin, Sarah Hudson, Clarence Coffee). But when she thinks of other artists she feels bonded with, Tove Lo and Charli XCX are the first to come to mind. “Those are just two solid, core girls who are really girls’ girls,” Lipa says. She had dinner with Tove Lo just two nights before our interview. “Every time I hang out with her I feel so energized, and I feel a real sense of comfort. It’s a real friendship, not one of those celebrity things of hanging out. We’re really quite like-minded and love talking to each other. Both of them are just so real.”

Lipa is thrilled to be on the Barbie ride alongside Billie Eilish.

Both Grammy winners had major hits with their contributions to the Barbie soundtrack, with their songs not only matching their musical personalities but also helping mark major mood and plot shifts in the film. They were both nominated for Best Original Song at the Golden Globes (Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” won) and have been shortlisted for the Oscars as well. “When me and Billie did an interview recently together, it was so nice to sit in a room and be able to cheer each other on,” Lipa reflects. “You’re like, ‘How amazing is it that we get to also do this together?’ It’s nice.” 

John Cena is her “emotional support actor.”

Lipa now has two acting gigs under her belt, and surprisingly, both were done alongside John Cena. In Barbie, he’s the Mermaid Ken to her Mermaid Barbie. They worked closely together on Argylle as well.
“I can’t do a single thing without him,” she jokes. “I’ve loved working with him. I think we’re each other’s emotional support actor”

The two have become friends outside of their experiences on set, exchanging restaurant recommendations. Cena and his wife have become regulars at a Persian spot Lipa once recommended to them. “I always get a text and a picture after they’d been,” she says. 

What’s she listening to?

“I’ve been listening to the new Jungle album,” she says, referring to 2023’s Volcano. “That’s a cool record.” Lipa has also been digging rising star Olivia Dean: “She’s got a song called ‘Dive.’ She’s got a beautiful voice. That song is amazing — you hear it and you always feel like you’ve heard it before. It’s really good.” She has also had Victoria Monét’s “On My Mama” on repeat. 

What’s she reading?

“A book that I was obsessed with, absolutely possessed: Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe,” Lipa recommends excitedly. She doesn’t usually read about politics (“I like to escape reality a lot of the time”), but she found Radden’s reporting on the Troubles in Northern Ireland moved like fiction. “It’s like a history that I knew about, but not to the extent that it was detailed in this book,” she adds. “His writing was the most gripping, and I absolutely raced through it. I recommended it to every single person I knew. That was the last thing that I read that I think just really blew me away.”

She’s ready to dig her teeth into more of Keefe’s work, including Empire of Pain, about the opioid epidemic. “After reading Say Nothing, I’m like, eyes wide open. I’m ready for more.”


What’s she watching?

Not long before our first interview in November, Lipa had watched the 2022 film Close by Belgian filmmaker Lukas Dhont. It’s a coming-of-age story about two teen boys who have a close friendship until their classmates point out how intimate it is. “Bawled my eyes out, unbelievably moving,” she says. She’s also been watching a lot of older films, like Dog Day Afternoon, Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, and Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2.

As for TV, she most recently dug the Netflix adaptation Painkiller (based off Keefe’s Empire of Pain) as well as Apple TV+’s Bad Sisters. But Lipa admits that she hasn’t watched much other than her comfort show, Curb Your Enthusiasm. “That’s my go-to,” she says. “I’m obsessed with Larry David.”

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