Inquirer Entertainment: A chat with a senator and his 3 wives

Check out this very interesting and insightful interview from with Big Love stars Chloë Sevigny, Ginnifer Goodwin, Bill Paxton and Jeanne Tripplehorn, as well as the show’s creator Will Scheffer. The five talk among other things about the future of the show and how e.g. Scheffer pictures the show’s ultimate conclusion, the Season 5 opener, the public reactions they’ve gotten regarding the show, the tabloids and their thoughts on what they sometimes find on the internet. Season 5 has just begun filming, so this is likely to be a relatively quiet summer and fall for us Chloë-fans, news-wise. Full article under the cut.

LOS ANGELES—When we recently interviewed the two wives of a senator, the resulting conversation was amusing and uninhibited. We also talked to the senator and his third wife together—our chat was just as interesting, but nothing can top the banter between two women married to the same guy while he was not around.

These polygamists are Bill Henrickson, Barb Henrickson, Nicki Grant and Margene Heffman, also known as the characters played respectively by Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin on HBO’s Big Love.

Chloë and Ginnifer together were a hoot, as they dished on their polygamous TV family, their what-were-they-thinking paparazzi shots and what overzealous fans of the series tell them. Bill and Jeanne were more circumspect. In both interviews, Will Scheffer, the show’s cocreator, cowriter and coproducer, sat on the side and gave comments.

Below are excerpts of our laughter-punctuated interviews, held a day before they began filming the fifth season:

What kind of reaction have you been getting about the show?

Ginnifer Goodwin (GG): I’ve gotten very positive reaction. I tend to get the same reaction from women. I’m thanked quite often because, as the women always say—as if they all had come together and decided they were going to have this joint answer, “My husband or boyfriend wanted to bring someone else into the bedroom—until we watched your show.”

I walked out of a salon, and a guy driving on the street stopped his car, got out, and said, “Margene!”

Chloë Sevigny (CS): I was somewhere the other day, and someone called me “Nicki!” like he was mad, and I was like, “Oh, that’s me!” It turned out that there was someone else named Nicki in the room.

What would you like to see happen on the series?

GG: I’d like to see us go to Hawaii.

CS: I like it when scenes flip-flop. Like in a sequence, I’ll be really warm to Margene, then she’ll do something that irritates me. I’ll snap at her because, sometimes, that’s how you react to people in your family. I feel like those scenes are real. I’d like to see Bill get his comeuppance. He gets away with far too much.

GG: I do, too.

CS: I’d like him to suffer a little bit for all that he’s done, and to get some retribution. That’s what I’d really like. Men shouldn’t get away with that much stuff. The women are always suffering. I feel like he should, too.

GG: I know. He doesn’t really get punished. He gets away with murder.

CS: I feel like he’s very evil. You probably think he’s such a great guy. We’re talking about the character, by the way.

GG: We’re not talking about Bill Paxton.

Chloë, talk about your character’s relationship with her daughter.

CS: What I’ve heard through rumors in the costume department, which is where we get all our information, is that Nicki is going to become more conservative. Seeing how the world affects a young person and how much evil there is in music and television, and how tempting sex and everything else is, Nicki becomes more conservative in her thinking to protect her daughter, which is something that I might do as a parent—to shelter children as long as I can until they have to be adults.

Ginnifer, is your character really attracted to her stepson, Ben?

GG: That was a big question. I was positive that Margene wasn’t going to end up being attracted to her stepson. So, I was shocked when I got the script where she kisses Ben. I took it that Margene was feeling especially lonely and abandoned and got carried away, more than there was any kind of sexual attraction.

What’s the worst thing you’ve read about yourself?

CS: I feel like the Internet contains the worst things! At the last Golden Globes, when the man who escorted me to the stage tore my gown (he accidentally stepped on it), the whole room gasped, and everybody noticed it. I said, “I can’t believe you tore my dress.” People were attacking me for saying that. By the way, Valentino still hasn’t returned the gown, which they said they were going to repair.

GG: We did hear all of that from the back of the room.

Can you talk about the paparazzi and the tabloid stories about stars’ fashion tastes?

CS: “What was she thinking?” is a big phrase that always comes up. My mom always gets those “What was she thinking?” photos, and she puts them on the fridge. I was like, “Mom, don’t you realize they’re making fun of me?” She says, “I like it. I think you look cute!”

GG: I’m trying to get my mom to stop reading that. But, she gets excited because she’s like, “Oh, it’s a window into my daughter’s life.” Like, my mom found a picture of my sister and I walking down the street in New York. I was like, “Mom, you’re supporting the industry that’s invading my privacy. They climb on the hood of my car to take pictures.” She answers, “I know, but I got a little glimpse of my girls walking down the street in New York.”

Have you thought about the end for these characters?

William Scheffer (WS): I think we know how it’s going to end. When you get to the fifth season, you start looking toward pulling things in. It’s like past the midpoint of a typical HBO series’ life. So, you’re really looking toward where you’re growing. We pretty much started to move toward that.

The family’s polygamy secret is going to come out. How is that going to impact your characters?

Bill Paxton (BP): So far, all I know is the first episode, which we’ll shoot tomorrow. It hits me like a brick in the face: This guy’s going to face the fire. I don’t want to give anything away.

WS: The first episode is always okay to give away.

BP: We have left town, and we take our younger children. We’re camping out in the wilderness…

WS: Just for the weekend.

BP: …To let the media hype simmer down. Then, we come back to our house. Obviously, a “circus” has been played through. Our neighbors say, “Thanks for giving us some warning.” Bill has a lot of belief in himself and in the goodness of people. He’s thinking if he can just keep ahead of this thing. But, every step of the way, I’m just getting slapped in the face. It’s going to be tough, and there’s no easy solution to it. I don’t know where it’s all going.

Jeanne Tripplehorn (JT): In this season, I wouldn’t say we’re coming full circle. But, in the first season, it was about the family really sticking together, because we had a secret. At the start of this season, everybody knows our secret—so, we’re forced to come together again, because we have to protect ourselves from everybody who knows the secret!

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