Chloë Sevigny Built Her Career Playing "Victims, Naifs and Muses," Says 'Psychology Today'

Illustration for article titled Chloë Sevigny Built Her Career Playing "Victims, Naifs and Muses," Says 'Psychology Today'

*Inspired by Shirley MacLaine's assertion that the best parts for actresses fall into one of the above categories


UPDATE: Sevigny profiler Emily Nussbaum informs us that this piece was actually written in 2003, right in the aftermath of the Brown Bunny hoopla. She would never ignore the awesomeness of Nicki Grant!

Chloë Sevigny "has specialized in a kind of transcendent suckerdom," writes Emily Nussbaum in an article that seems bizarrely out of place in Psychology Today. In an interview with Sevigny, the 28-year-old actress claims that she has been subjected to victimhood not only through her movie roles — first as an HIV-positive girl who gets raped in Kids and later as a lover of serial killer and genuine psychopath Patrick Bateman in American Psycho — but also through her personal life. When she dated director Harmony Korine (Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy), Chloë felt like her creativity was subjugated to his artistic ego. "I always felt like 'Harmony's girlfriend.' He was the brilliant mind—which he is, the eccentric, the artist. But then it was like, 'And she's an actress.'"

She talks about feeling emotionally manipulated by directors and even discusses her most infamous acting job ever: the notorious blow job scene in the Brown Bunny. Chloë hems and haws about her Vincent Gallo fellating, saying it was her "taste at the time," but she acknowledges how hard it was on her mother, which is an undeniably sweet, unguarded moment. "I feel bad," Sevigny says about her mother's reaction to her celluloid bj. "She wanted me to be in pretty period clothes, and [edgy independent film is] all I've ever really wanted to be in. Sometimes I don't know how I ended up in these movies."

It is a little hard to, ahem, swallow, though, when Sevigny claims that acting has sometimes made her feel like a "whore." It undermines her own agency in choosing the parts that she did. She had her reasons when she chose to blow Vincent Gallo, and it feels disingenuous for her to claim innocence.

Anyway, if you've ever watched an episode of Big Love, it's safe to say that even though Chloë is playing the second wife of a polygamist, her current persona is far from the retiring victim role. The hilariously manipulative Nicki Grant is anything but a doormat.

Muse Me No More [Psychology Today]



I don't have alot of "hate" for celebrities because, DUH, they aren't real and I don't know them. But many moons ago, when I would have been considered, "cool" or a "hipster" I used to see her out.

There are many things I could note, I'll choose to highlight that she does not wash her hands after using the bathroom.