American actress and fashion icon Chloë Sevigny is one of Hollywood's boldest and most gifted actors. Known for her many indie film roles, Sevigny has garnered much critical acclaim since her 1995 debut, most recently a Golden Globe for her performance on HBO's Big Love. Sevigny is also widely revered for her sense of style, and recently launched her fourth collection for the hip NY label Opening Ceremony.
Chloë Sevigny appears
this season as the sex-
obsessed Shelley on FX's American Horror Story. Wednesdays on FX!
Chloe Sevigny explains her new willingness to take on comedy.
You play a transgender hit person in Hit & Miss. On paper that sounds pretty weird. Did it feel like a stretch to you?
I was afraid I wouldn’t be convincing and the [transgender] community might be upset about it because it’s a sensitive thing. That was the scariest part for me. Not the outcome or the controversy or what people are going to write about it, because I knew the tone they were going to set. It’s so based in reality and the truth of the emotions and relationships that it’s not quite as nuts as the synopsis sounds.
How important is it that we see your character, Mia, naked so early in the show?
I think it’s good to just get it out of the way. And the way they shot it, it’s not gratuitous — it’s just kind of there, it’s very natural. It’s just me getting dressed or taking a shower.
Did you find it strange wearing a prosthetic penis?
Yes, it was very uncomfortable and I think I had a similar relationship to it as Mia would have with hers. She felt like a freak.
What attracted you to the role?
First and foremost was the script. I wanted to work in England, I wanted to work with this director. I didn’t have anything else and I wanted to do something very different from the character I played on Big Love for so many years just to kind of shake that part. I loved doing long-form television and the fact it was a six-hour mini-series, I knew how much you get to explore with the character over time.
Collider has a terrific interview with Chloë Sevigny about her recent work on FX’s American Horror Story. The interview is really insightful, but also mildly spoilery as to her arc on the show, so if you wish to remain absolutely spoiler-free, we suggest you stop reading now. For everyone else, find the full article under the cut.
Chloe Sevigny Talks AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM, What Attracted Her to the Role, Working with Jessica Lange and Possibly Returning for Season 3
by Christina Radish
Set in 1964, the FX drama series American Horror Story: Asylum takes viewers into Briarcliff, a haven for the criminally insane, ruled with an iron fist by Sister Jude (Jessica Lange), a nun with a troubled past. Inside this locked down facility, danger lurks around every corner, whether it’s a doctor who loves to torture, flesh eating creatures in the forest, alien experimentation or the serial killer Bloody Face, and no one is safe.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Chloe Sevigny, who plays the resident nymphomaniac, talked about how exciting it is to be a part of event television, what a big fan she was of Season 1, what attracted her to the role, how she’s more frightened by realistic violence than straight out gore, how amazing it was to work with Jessica Lange, just how much crazier things will get this season, and how she’d love to return for Season 3. She also talked about her work on the TV series Hit & Miss, playing such unexpected roles, dabbling in comedy, and her desire to do a sweeping romantic period drama. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
Collider: Before the season premiered, it was already a trending topic on Twitter, proving that it’s more like event television than just a TV show now. Is it exciting to be a part of something like this, where people are so eager to talk about it?
CHLOE SEVIGNY: Yeah! When I heard the numbers, I was like, “Wow!” I’m flattered to be a part of it and excited, of course. I was on Big Love for five years and we had our fans, but it didn’t feel like it was a crazy event thing. There wasn’t a frenzy surrounding it. People weren’t having viewing parties, like I’m hearing they are for American Horror Story. So, yeah, it’s super exciting! I just hope people enjoy it and are frightened.
The actress and fashion icon’s latest project has her judging screenplays for Four Stories, a screenwriting contest curated by Roman Coppola and The Directors Bureau in collaboration with Intel and W Hotels. Here, Sevigny talks to TIME about her motiviations for participating, Mormonism and where she’d like to travel next.
This is a somewhat unexpected project for you. Why did you want to get involved?
For selfish reasons, firstly. I’m trying to get out more and meet more people, so I thought this would be a good way to do that. I’ve met some of people involved before, but I think it’s good to be proactive. As my mother says, “You can’t just sit at home with your girlfriends every night.”
How does someone like you have trouble meeting people?
Because I don’t like to leave the house. I like to stay in and have people over to my house.
Part of the contest asks filmmakers to incorporate travel into their submissions. What’s on your list of must-see spots?
This is going to sound terrible, but I like going to all-inclusive resorts. High-end ones like GoldenEye in Jamaica, because I don’t like to have to think when I’m on holiday. I’m also like a coddled actress — I’m used to being told where to go and when to be there. I like to go to places where I have friends who can show me around. I have a friend in Stockholm and I’d like to go back; I’d also like to go back to Chicago.
You played a Mormon wife (Nicki Grant) on HBO’s Big Love. Do you think the series, Broadway’s Book of Mormon and other pop cultural references to the religion will influence voters’ perception of Republican candidate Mitt Romney at all?
No, I don’t think so. I mean, I don’t want to say anything political, but I think there’s a real mystique surrounding Mormonism. And it’s confusing to a lot of people who don’t do thorough research on it like I had to in order to play Nicki.
In the July issue of Out, you lamented about not being able to borrow a Valentino dress for the London premiere of your British television show, Hit & Miss. Have you been able to get one since?
No I haven’t. But I haven’t had a desire for one. I know Cannes was going on at that time, which was obviously a lot more exposure than my premiere; I was just disappointed because I really loved that collection.
Chloe Sevigny Hits It with Her Best Shot
by Diane Anderson-Minshall
The actress subverts gender again in her newest role as a transgender woman who just happens to be an assassin.
Actress Chloë Sevigny may be best known to TV viewers for playing Nicolette “Nicki” Grant, the most interesting of three sister wives on HBO’s long-running polygamy drama, Big Love. But she’s equally iconic for her game-changing roles in the shocking Kids and the transgender Oscar-winner Boys Don’t Cry. Sevigny’s had a bevy of films that play with gender, including Candy Darling and If These Walls Could Talk 2, and last year she cross-dressed as distinctive fashion photographer Terry Richardson for the cover of the avant-garde trans fashion magazine Candy (shot by Richardson).
She subverts gender again in her next role, where she plays a transgender woman who just happens to be an assassin. It may be her best part yet. Hit & Miss, a six-part miniseries that premieres in July on DirectTV, centers around Mia, a contract killer whose trans identity is unknown to those around her. Her life, already precarious, is sent into a tailspin when she receives a letter from her ex. The woman is dying and wants to confess that before she transitioned, Mia fathered an 11-year-old son.
For the role, Sevigny wanted to play Mia as a glamorous woman who easily passes as female — more April Ashley (a gorgeous famous British fashion model outed as transgender in 1961) than Felicity Huffman’s Transamerica character, who she says “hadn’t quite flourished all the way yet.”
The 2011 Prime Time Emmy Award nominees were announced yesterday. Unfortunately, Big Love garnered only one nomination this year, but congratulations to Bruce Dern for his well-deserved nomination for Best Guest Actor in Drama for his portrayal of Bill’s father Frank Harlow!
Chloë Sevigny on Going from Drug Smuggler to Pre-Op Trans Assassin
No one could ever accuse actor Chloë Sevigny of playing it safe. From her first major role as an HIV-positive teenager in Larry Clark’s KIDS to her Golden Globe Award–winning portrayal of a sister-wife on HBO’s Big Love, the 36-year-old actor and fashion designer has never been one to shy away from controversy. In her latest film, Mr. Nice, Sevigny plays Judy Marks, wife of Howard Marks, a Welsh drug smuggler who was alleged to have once run 10% of the world’s hashish trade. Up next, she’s planning a return to television with two very different miniseries: a Lizzie Borden biopic, in which she’ll play the homicidal lead, and a still-untitled project about a pre-op transsexual assassin, for which she’s readying her Irish brogue.
First, however, a chat — about everything from Patti Smith and bong hits to why her brother Paul won’t be DJing her first Opening Ceremony fashion show next week — from inside Manhattan’s Playwright Tavern, an appropriately unexpected place to meet an Oscar nominee.
Had you known about Howard Marks before signing on to play his wife?
No, but I asked my English friends, who said he was a huge counter-culture icon in the UK. He wrote a book, also called Mr Nice, that every kid over there reads. The alternative kids hero-worship him.
Have you read Judy’s blog?
No, I’m not really into the internet.
She says lovely things about you on it.
We didn’t meet until after I finished shooting the film, but we ended up bonding in Spain. I think Bernard [Rose, the film’s director] didn’t want me to become friendly with her because he didn’t want it to color my performance. He didn’t want me to become more sympathetic to her and to her children, even though I’d read all about it from the book.
She wrote that the two of you have a lot in common, one of those things being that you’ve both had your “fair share of messing about on yachts.” What did she mean by that?
She grew up in a sailing family and so did I. My dad was a big sailor and my brother Paul actually tried to sail in the Olympics. He went to the College of Charleston because of their sailing team. He used to deliver people’s yachts from Newport down to the Caribbean for money, and I’ve done that with him a few times. So that’s probably what she meant, but maybe it’s also a class thing because the English are so obsessed with that. Maybe she means we’re cut from a similar cloth.
Chloë Sevigny Sick of Playing the Suffering Wife, Incredibly Honest
They say honesty is the best policy, but few actors take that sentiment to heart as genuinely as Chloë Sevigny, who was kind enough to sit down with me and a few other curious minds this morning in midtown Manhattan. She has one of those ebullient laughs that nervously tumbles out without warning. Ms. Sevigny is promoting her latest film, the little seen Mr. Nice, which played SXSW last March and has its U.S. premiere on June 3rd. It’s the true life story of Howard Marks, a Welsh dope smuggler played by Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill, The Replacements), as directed by Bernard Rose (Candyman, Immortal Beloved). Ms. Sevigny plays Howard’s wife Judy, and had plenty to say on a myriad of topics. Things like:
The car service guy decided to cross town on 45th street. It was really idiotic.
WHY SHE PLAYED THE PART
I was attracted to Rhys. Not as in I wanted to get in the sack with him, but I was attracted to him as an actor and as a human.
THE REAL JUDY MARKS
Unfortunately, I didn’t meet Judy until the very end. Bernard didn’t want me to meet her and I had to respect the director’s wishes, but now I wish I had been able to meet her sooner. I would have had more ideas to play with to humanize her more than just the long-suffering wife, which is always slightly humiliating.
I can’t smoke pot because I get The Fear. I get paranoid. But some of the other cast and crew members were partaking. Method acting.
“I don’t have one ounce of the milk of human kindness in me. I’m spiteful, jealous and mean…”
- Nicolette “Nicki” Henrickson
What a ride. What a conclusion. Hopefully everyone tuned in to the season and series finale of HBO’s Big Love last night. Here’s our last ever Big Love recap, of yesterday’s episode 5.10 “Where Men and Mountains Meet”. Please note that this recap is not spoiler-free and spoilerific discussion is allowed in the comments-section of this post, so if you haven’t seen the episode yet and would like to remain unspoiled, please come back later.
Onto today’s update, beginning with a video of the making of the final scenes of the finale. HBO hasn’t released an actual video recap of the episode yet, but this’ll do just as well. Courtesy of HBO:
Since we don’t have a video recap today, here’s a quick summary of what happened last night — please highlight to read: Following a family dinner, Cara Lynn reveals to Nicki she is thinking of moving back to her “other family”, but is ultimately able to reconnect with her mother. The Henricksons lose Home Plus. Barb reveals she plans to be baptized in her new church, but is later unable to follow through with it without her family there. After a bold move at the state senate to legalize polygamy, Bill receives an unexpected warm welcome from the polygamist community at his new church, where he then experiences a new “heavenly vision”. Frank keeps his promise to the dementia-ridden Lois and ends her life peacefully. In the final moments of the episode, Bill is unexpectedly confronted and gunned down by his neighbor outside his house while the wives are inside preparing the Easter dinner. With his last breath, Bill asks Barb to give him a blessing, and he dies in the arms of his three wives. Eleven months later, it is revealed the wives are still together, with Barb carrying on Bill’s legacy of his church, Cara Lynn still living with Nicki and Margie following his passion for voluntary work. Ben and Heather have also reconciled, while Sarah and Scott are still together and now have a baby.
As HBO & co. prepare to bid adieu to Big Love with tonight’s season and series finale, the network has published this terrific half-hour special about the making of the show, in which the cast and crew talk about the series and what it’s been like to bring it to a close. Featured in the video are stars Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ginnifer Goodwin and Chloë Sevigny, as well as the series’ creators, Will Scheffer and Mark V. Olsen.
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