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Chloë Sevigny
Chloë Sevigny Cannes 2019 (crop).jpg
Sevigny at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival
Chloe Stevens Sevigny

(1974-11-18) November 18, 1974 (age 49)
  • Actress
  • model
  • fashion designer
Years active 1992–present
Siniša Mačković
(m. 2020)
Children 1
Awards Full list

Chloë Stevens Sevigny ( born November 18, 1974) is an American actress, model and fashion designer. Sevigny is the recipient of several accolades, including a Golden Globe Award, a Satellite Award, an Independent Spirit Award, as well as nominations for an Academy Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. She also has a career in fashion design concurrent with her acting work. Over the years, her alternative fashion sense has earned her a reputation as a "style icon".

After graduating from high school, Sevigny found work as a model, and appeared in music videos for Sonic Youth and The Lemonheads, which helped acquire her "it girl" status. In 1995, she made her film debut in Kids, which earned her critical acclaim. A string of roles in small-scale features throughout the late 1990s, like 1996's Trees Lounge, further established her as a prominent performer in the independent film scene. Sevigny rose to prominence with her portrayal of Lana Tisdel in the drama film Boys Don't Cry (1999), for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award For Best Supporting Actress.

Throughout the 2000s, Sevigny appeared in supporting parts in numerous independent films. From 2006 to 2011, Sevigny portrayed Nicolette Grant on the HBO series Big Love, for which she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2010. She also appeared in mainstream films such as David Fincher's Zodiac (2007), and the biopic Mr. Nice (2010).

After the conclusion of Big Love, Sevigny went on to appear in numerous television projects, starring in the British series Hit & Miss (2012), and having supporting roles in Portlandia (2013), two seasons of American Horror Story; and in the Netflix series Bloodline (2015–2017). Sevigny made her directorial debut in 2016 with the short film Kitty, followed by a second short film titled Carmen. She had several supporting parts in 2017 before obtaining a lead role portraying Lizzie Borden in the independent thriller Lizzie (2018), followed by another lead role in Jim Jarmusch's horror comedy The Dead Don't Die (2019). Her third film as a director, a short titled White Echo, competed for the Short Film Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

Early life

Chloë Stevens Sevigny was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on November 18, 1974, the second child of Janine (née Malinowski) and Harold David Sevigny (1940–1996). She has one older brother, Paul. According to Sevigny, she added the diaeresis to her first name later in life, and it was not on her birth certificate. Her mother is Polish-American, and her father was of French-Canadian heritage. Sevigny and her brother were raised in a strict Catholic household in affluent Darien, Connecticut, where her father worked first as an accountant, and then as an art teacher. Despite Darien's wealth, the Sevignys had a "frugal" household, and were considered "the poor bohemians in [an] extremely prosperous neighborhood". Sevigny has stated that her father "worked very hard to bring us up in that town ... He wanted us to grow up in a really safe environment."

As a child, Sevigny was diagnosed with scoliosis, but never received any surgical treatment for it. She often spent summers attending theater camp, with leading roles in plays run by the YMCA. She attended Darien High School, where she was a member of the Alternative Learning Program. While in high school, she often babysat actor Topher Grace and his younger sister. As a young teenager, she worked sweeping the tennis courts of a country club her family could not afford to join.

Sevigny described herself as a "loner" and a "depressed teenager" whose only extracurricular activities were occasionally skateboarding with her older brother and sewing her own clothes.


1992–1994: Modeling

As a teenager, Sevigny would occasionally ditch school in Darien and take the train into Manhattan. In 1992, at age 17, she was spotted on an East Village street by Andrea Linett, a fashion editor of Sassy magazine, who was so impressed by her style that she asked her to model for the magazine; she was later made an intern. When recounting the event, Sevigny recalled that Linett "just liked the hat I was wearing." She later modeled in the magazine as well as for X-Girl, the subsidiary fashion label of the Beastie Boys' "X-Large", designed by Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, which she followed with an appearance in the music video for Sonic Youth's "Sugar Kane".

In 1993, at age 19, Sevigny relocated from her Connecticut hometown to an apartment in Brooklyn, and worked as a seamstress.

1995–1998: Early film and stage roles

Sevigny met screenwriter and aspiring director Harmony Korine in Washington Square Park during her senior year of high school in 1993. The two became close friends, which resulted in her being cast in the low-budget independent film Kids (1995), which was written by Korine and directed by Larry Clark. Sevigny's performance was praised. She received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Female.

Sevigny followed Kids with actor/director Steve Buscemi's independent film Trees Lounge (1996). During this time, director Mary Harron (after having seen Kids) offered Sevigny a minor part in her film I Shot Andy Warhol (1996). Sevigny starred in and worked as a fashion designer on Gummo (1997), directed and written by Harmony Korine. Recalling the film, Sevigny cited it as one of her favorite projects: "Young people love that movie. It's been stolen from every Blockbuster in America. It's become a cult film". The film was dedicated to Sevigny's father, who died prior to the film's release.

After Gummo, Sevigny starred in the neo-noir thriller Palmetto (1998). She then had a leading role as a Hampshire College graduate in The Last Days of Disco (1998), alongside Kate Beckinsale. The film was written and directed by cult director Whit Stillman and details the rise and fall of the Manhattan club scene in the early 1980s.

1999–2003: Boys Don't Cry and breakthrough

Sevigny was cast in the independent drama Boys Don't Cry (1999) after director Kimberly Peirce saw her performance in The Last Days of Disco. The film received high praise from critics, and was a moderate box-office success. It was widely credited as featuring some of the best acting of the year, with Sevigny's performance widely praised. The role earned Sevigny supporting actress nominations for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. She won an Independent Spirit Award, a Satellite Award, and a Sierra Award for her performance.

Following the success of Boys Don't Cry, Sevigny appeared in 1999 in the experimental film Julien Donkey-Boy, which reunited her with writer-director Harmony Korine. Though it never saw a major theatrical release, the film garnered some critical praise. Sevigny also had a small part in the drama film A Map of the World (1999), which starred Sigourney Weaver.

In 2000, Sevigny played a supporting role in Mary Harron's American Psycho, based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Sevigny also appeared as a lesbian in the Emmy Award-winning television film If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000), the sequel to the HBO television drama-film If These Walls Could Talk (1996). Sevigny credited it as the only film she ever made for financial benefit, to help her mother with whom she lived in Connecticut in 1998–2000.

Following her appearance in If These Walls Could Talk 2, Sevigny was approached for a supporting role in the 2001 comedy Legally Blonde alongside Reese Witherspoon and offered $500,000; she declined and the role was given to Selma Blair. Instead, she starred in Olivier Assayas' French techno thriller Demonlover (2002) alongside Connie Nielsen, for which she was required to learn her lines in French.

Around 2002, Sevigny began collaborating with friend Tara Subkoff for the Imitation of Christ fashion label and conceptual art project, with their first collection being released in 2003. She served as the creative director for the line, which was referred to as being "more about performance art and cultural theory than clothes". In film, Sevigny had a role in Lars von Trier's parable Dogville (2003), playing one of the various residents of a small mountain town, alongside Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall, and Paul Bettany. The film received mixed reactions, and was criticized by Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper as being "anti-American". She also re-united with former Boys Don't Cry star Peter Sarsgaard for the biographical film Shattered Glass (2003), also alongside Hayden Christensen, about the career of Stephen Glass, a journalist whose reputation is destroyed when his widespread journalistic fraud is exposed. Sevigny played Caitlin Avey, one of Glass' co-editors.

2007–2011: Fashion endeavors; Big Love

Chloe Sevigny 2010 crop
Sevigny at the premiere of Barry Munday (2010) in Austin, Texas

In 2006, Sevigny began a five-season run in the HBO television series Big Love, about a family of fundamentalist Mormon polygamists. She played Nicolette Grant, the conniving, shopaholic daughter of a cult leader and second wife to a polygamist husband, played by Bill Paxton. Sevigny also appeared in her first big-budget production, playing Robert Graysmith's wife Melanie in David Fincher's Zodiac (2007).

In October 2007, the French fashion house Chloé announced that Sevigny would be one of the spokesmodels for its new fragrance. Sevigny also released a clothing collection for Opening Ceremony in the fall of 2009. It included men's, women's, and unisex pieces, and received mixed reactions from critics. Sevigny returned to films in 2009, starring in the independent psychological thriller The Killing Room, and Werner Herzog's My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done.

In January 2010, Sevigny won a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film for her performance in the third season of Big Love. During a press conference following the award win, Sevigny addressed the repressed women living in the fundamentalist Mormon compounds: "These women are kept extremely repressed. They should be helped. They don't even know who the president of the United States is." In a later interview with The A.V. Club, Sevigny was asked if she felt that the show's message was that polygamy was "wrong". In response, Sevigny stated: "No, absolutely not. I think there are more parallels to gay rights and alternative lifestyles within Big Love—more so than 'Polygamy is wrong'. I think they actually condone people who decide to live this lifestyle outside of fundamentalist sects." During the same interview, Sevigny stated her disappointment with the series' fourth season, calling it "awful" and "very telenovela"—though she stated that she loves her character and the writing, she felt the show "got away from itself." Sevigny later regretted making the statements, saying she was very "exhausted" and "wasn't thinking about what [she] was saying"; she also apologized to the show's producers. "[I didn't want them to think] that I was biting the hand that feeds me, because I obviously love the show and have always been nothing but positive about it. And I didn't want anybody to misunderstand me or think that I wasn't, you know, appreciative."

While starring in the fourth season of Big Love in 2010, Sevigny also appeared major roles in two independent comedy films: Barry Munday and Mr. Nice. Sevigny also had a voice part in the documentary film Beautiful Darling (2010), narrating the life of Warhol superstar Candy Darling through Darling's diaries and personal letters. The fifth and final season of Big Love premiered in March 2011.

2012–2015: Television projects

Chloe Sevigny Horror premiere 2015
Sevigny in 2015 at the premiere of #Horror

In 2012, Sevigny starred in the British miniseries Hit & Miss. The same year, Sevigny guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which aired on April 18, 2012, and also appeared in the second and fifth seasons of American Horror Story, which premiered in October 2012 and the latter in October 2015.

Sevigny also had roles in television, appearing as a satellite character in the third season of the television sketch comedy show Portlandia, and having a 5-episode guest role on the comedy series The Mindy Project, in which she portrayed the ex-wife of the titular Mindy's love interest (played by Chris Messina). Kristi Turnquist of The Oregonian praised Sevigny in Portlandia, stating that she "instantly adds dimension and interest" to the series.

In 2014, Sevigny starred as Catherine Jensen in the crime drama Those Who Kill, which aired on the A&E Network. After being pulled from A&E after two episodes due to low ratings, it was then re-launched on A&E's sister network, Lifetime Movie Network. The series was subsequently cancelled after its 10 episode first season run. During the 29th International Festival of Fashion and Photography in April 2014, Sevigny served as a judge of the fashion jury, along with Humberto Leon and Carol Lim.

I think because in real life I'm quite conservative, and I'm not radical in my day-to-day life and how I act, I think I use my art to do that.

– Sevigny in 2014

In March 2015, it was announced Sevigny would be returning to American Horror Story for its fifth season, Hotel, as a main cast member. Sevigny portrayed a doctor whose son has been kidnapped. That same year, she also starred in the Netflix original series Bloodline. In the spring of 2015, Sevigny published a picture book chronicling her life, containing photos of her as a high school student, on film sets, personal scripts, and other ephemera. She also appeared in Tara Subkoff's directorial debut #Horror, playing the opulent mother of a teenage girl whose get-together with friends is interrupted by a murderer.

2016–present: Directing and other projects

Chloë Sevigny 2017
Sevigny in 2017

In early 2016, Sevigny appeared in the Canadian horror film Antibirth opposite Natasha Lyonne, which follows a small-town woman who becomes pregnant through unknown circumstances. Sevigny reunited with The Last Days of Disco director and fellow actresses Whit Stillman and Kate Beckinsale on Love & Friendship, an adaptation of the Jane Austen novel Lady Susan. Both films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016. In 2016 and 2017, respectively, Sevigny also reprised her role in Bloodline, becoming a main cast member in the third and final season.

Sevigny made her directorial debut in 2016 with the short film Kitty, which she adapted from Paul Bowles' 1980 short story. The film was selected to close the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, and was subsequently acquired by The Criterion Collection, which made it available for streaming on their user subscription channel. In late 2016, Sevigny directed her second short film, Carmen, which was shot on location in Portland, Oregon. The film, released as part of a Miu Miu campaign, focuses on comedian Carmen Lynch.

Sevigny played supporting parts in multiple films in 2017. She co-starred as a horse jockey in the drama Lean on Pete, based on the novel by Willy Vlautin,; in the ensemble drama Golden Exits; the comedy-drama Beatriz at Dinner; the drama The Dinner; and The Snowman (2017).

Sevigny starred as Lizzie Borden in Lizzie (2018), which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, co-starring with Kristen Stewart. Sevigny had first expressed interest in developing and starring in a miniseries based on Borden in 2011. Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post wrote that Sevigny "is something of a closed book, delivering a stolid performance that can be read as either strong-willed or stonyhearted." Sevigny also appeared in a supporting role in The True Adventures of Wolfboy, and starred as a small-town police officer facing a zombie apocalypse in Jim Jarmusch's comedy horror film The Dead Don't Die (2019). The latter film premiered as the opening feature at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where Sevigny's third short film, White Echo, also competed for the Palme d'Or for Best Short Film.

In 2019 (and 2022), Sevigny appeared in the Netflix show Russian Doll, portraying the mother of the lead character. In 2023, she was a guest star in the Peacock show Poker Face, working again with Natasha Lyonne, star of both series. In 2020, Sevigny starred in We Are Who We Are, a limited series directed by Luca Guadagnino, which premiered in September 2020 on HBO.

Legacy and influence

Colette storefront in Paris, advertising Sevigny's Opening Ceremony collection

Sevigny has long been considered a fashion icon and regularly appears alternately on both best- and worst-dressed lists. Throughout her career, she has modelled for several high-profile designers, including Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, Chloé, H&M, Proenza Schouler, Kenzo and Vivienne Westwood. Prior to her career as an actress, she had achieved fame for her unique style. While her sense of style in the early 1990s only reflected small downtown scenes and trends, it still made a significant impression on high class fashion chains which began to emulate Sevigny's look. Her interest in fashion and clothing, as well as her career as a fashion model in her late teenage years and early twenties, have led to a career as a prominent and well-respected fashion designer.

Personal life

In the late 1990s, Sevigny dated British singer Jarvis Cocker. She later said in a 2009 interview:

When I was in my early 20s, I went out with a British pop star, Jarvis Cocker; of course, pop stars have much more celebrity, I think, than actors even. They're really hunted by their fans much more. I remember driving around these remote towns in Wales and kids running after us in the street. I was like, 'This is horrible!' And I saw the effect it had on him, and that's when I decided I never wanted to be a celebrity at that level, and I think that's why I've chosen to do the work that I do and just kind of work with directors that I love and try and do work that means something to me.

Around 2000, Sevigny began a relationship with musician Matt McAuley of the noise-rock band A.R.E. Weapons. The two would remain a couple for eight years before separating in early 2008.

Sevigny began dating Croatian art gallery director Siniša Mačković in 2018. In January 2020, it was announced that Sevigny was expecting her first child with Mačković. They married on March 9, 2020, and on May 2, 2020, she gave birth to a son. She is Catholic and has said that she attends church.



See also

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