Plenty Of 'Big Love' For HBO Star Chloe Sevigny

Cast of HBO's Big Love

Chloe Sevigny plays the second of three wives on the HBO series Big Love. The show follows the life of a polygamous family living in three neighboring houses in Sandy, Utah. Lacey Terrell/Courtesy of HBO hide caption

itoggle caption Lacey Terrell/Courtesy of HBO
Chloe Sevigny i i

In January, Chloe Sevigny received the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Series for her portrayal of Nicolette "Nicki" Grant in the HBO series Big Love. Lacey Terrell/Courtesy of HBO hide caption

itoggle caption Lacey Terrell/Courtesy of HBO
Chloe Sevigny

In January, Chloe Sevigny received the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Series for her portrayal of Nicolette "Nicki" Grant in the HBO series Big Love.

Lacey Terrell/Courtesy of HBO

The New Yorker: Chloe Sevigny

In this show, Terry Gross and Chloe Sevigny discuss a 1994 piece about Sevigny that appeared in The New Yorker. Click here to read that profile, written by Jay McInerney.

Bill's three wives — Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn), Nicki (Chloe Sevigny) and Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin) debate whether he should be the next prophet.

Nicki (Chloe Sevigny) and Bill (Bill Paxton) fight over whether he should become the next leader of their Juniper Creek compound.

For the past four seasons, Chloe Sevigny has played Nicolette "Nicki" Grant on the HBO series Big Love. Nicki is the second of polygamist Bill Henrickson's three wives — a modest woman suspicious of the outside world, while keeping several secrets of her own.

Sevigny tells Terry Gross that she prepared for the role by immersing herself in the polygamist culture of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — a polygamous offshoot of the Mormon church, or LDS.

"I read as much literature as I could find ... just trying to wrap my head around that world and where these people are coming from and their beliefs," Sevigny says. "I just wanted to respect the character with respect for her and her beliefs."

Sevigny began her professional acting career playing a New York City teenager infected with AIDS in the 1995 film Kids. After that role, Sevigny starred in The Last Days of Disco, where she played a book editor immersed in the New York City club scene; and Boys Don't Cry, where she played a woman falling in love with a transgendered man. Sevigny was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her role in Boys Don't Cry, which Rolling Stone called "a performance that burns into the memory."

Interview Highlights

How her role on Big Love is different from her roles in movies:

"I'm kind of intimidated by the big screen — I often keep my performances much smaller and much more natural and subtle — and of course on Big Love, it's so big, the stakes are always really high, and it's always very dramatic, and there's always so much going on that I can't imagine what they saw in earlier performances that they would think, 'Oh, Chloe can really run with this [Big Love role].' "

On wearing prairie dresses:

"It was always a fantasy of mine growing up — my favorite program was always Little House on the Prairie — so I always wanted to wear those looks. When I was a child, I wouldn't let my mom put me in anything but calico dresses and now ... whaddaya know, every day I'm in a calico dress, basically, so it's kind of funny."

On getting started in acting

"I had always wanted to be an actress. I went to summer theater camp from kindergarten on up until high school, and always had the leads in all the plays — even though they were at the YMCA — but it was something I always wanted to do. I had done some commercial work in junior high and stuff — my mother would bring me into the city, and we'd go on these crazy castings ... Acting was something I always dreamed of doing ... it was my passion when I was young."

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Big Love: The Complete First Season

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Big Love: The Complete Second Season (2007)

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Big Love: The Complete Third Season

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