The Hot Seat: Chloë Sevigny
More than 15 years after breaking out in Kids, the actress sheds her polygamist Big Love alter ego to return to NYC.
Fri Jan 7 2011
Illustration: Dan Park
RECOMMENDED: Full list of Hot Seat interviews
What are you working on now?
I'm working on cleaning out my closet! Some bags go to friends, some I sell, some go to a thrift store around the corner that benefits an AIDS charity.
Thrift stores are really popular these days, they're not just for the cool kids anymore. Is it harder to find good stuff now?
I don't really have the patience for the Salvation Army or Goodwill now. That was kind of my thing as a kid. I've always said I never stole, but I did switch tags at the Salvation Army, if it was really exorbitant! [Laughs] And I brought so much back that I thought it was okay. Now I feel they're just full of Old Navy and disposable brands. Vintage is such a thing now, so these rag-trade pickers pick stuff out and it goes to these specialty spots.
Are there things from your closet that you save out of sentimental value?
Oh yes. Oh god. Oh my goodness. [Laughs] Well, I have a storage space in Connecticut, and all my favorite outfits from high school are still in there.
Meaning your parents' house, or an actual storage space?
It's a Westy's, an actual storage space. All of the gowns from the Oscars and Globes and stuff are there, boxed up. Even knowing it's there is a little overwhelming at times. I don't even know why I'm saving it—really, truthfully, I save it thinking maybe someday my daughter will want something from the first season of Balenciaga.
Will you miss your conservative wardrobe from Big Love?
I'll miss the character. Nicki was well-defined, from her dress to her hair. Everyone was like, "How could you stand to be dressed so unattractively?" I think it was really flattering. I like extremism.
What do you think of polyamorous relationships now, post--Big Love?
I think something should be done for them, for the young women and men brought up in those fundamentalist communities. But that show Sister Wives? I never saw it, but when you see consenting adults who decide to do it, and it's not under some weird religious guise, then it's okay.
And in the final season premiere Nicki gets into a fight with a ten-year-old Boy Scout.
I loved that scene! It was awesome. Usually you get day players, and it's hard to pull [a performance] out of them. That kid was so game. He was so much fun.
What's the worst you've seen your name butchered?
I've seen Cho-lee, or K-L-O-E.
That sounds like a lotion.
"Seven-yay" is, like, Oof. It makes my skin crawl.
For the record, how is it supposed to be pronounced?
Klo-ee Seven-e. Like the number seven and the letter e. That's how I wrote it in grade school, "7-E."
You've been quoted as saying, "People would hate me so much more if I dated a celebrity." Do you think people hate you already?
That's me being paranoid. I'm always afraid I'm going to get heckled. I think with the tabloids... I feel like Us Weekly has it out for me. I guess it's probably because I don't embrace stardom or celebrity enough? There's, like, something I do—self-defense—in public. I just kind of disconnect. Or maybe they just think I'm ugly. I don't look at any of them anymore, because when I do, there's always me in a "What was she thinking?" outfit.
How happy would you be to never hear the words it girl again?
So happy. I'm not a girl. I'm a woman!
But are people even calling people it girls anymore?
Maybe it's just a passing fad? Or maybe there hasn't been a new one in a while.
Has your style changed now that you're not a girl anymore?
A little more subdued, maybe. I'm trying to be a little more body-conscious, now that I'm single. A little elegant, a little sexy. Sometimes I walk out of the building all schlubby, and I'm trying in the New Year to make more of an effort.
No going out in your sweats?
I don't even have any sweats, but I'm trying not to do the super schlump so much. I have American Apparel leggings.
Do you have outfits you regret?
In my personal life, no. But the red carpet, to me, is always business, and the more conventional-style dresses, yeah. I feel like I was trying to play the part of the accessible Hollywood type, and I look back and think, well... [Laughs] What was I thinking?
The final season of Big Love premieres Sun 16.