Chloë Stevens Sevigny (born November 18, 1974) is an Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated American actress and former model. Sevigny became known for her fashion career and starred in a string of critically acclaimed independent films in the 1990s before her first mainstream role as Brandon Teena's girlfriend, Lana Tisdel, in Boys Don't Cry. For her role, Sevigny received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress.
Sevigny has continued acting in mostly independent, but critically acclaimed roles in art houseBig Love, playing Nicki Grant, a woman married to a polygamist. films and has recently enjoyed success on the American television series
Sevigny was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and raised in Darien, Connecticut, the daughter of Janine (née Malinowski) and H. David Sevigny, an accountant turned interior painter. Sevigny's mother is a Polish American who grew up in Roxborough and her father is of French Canadian heritage; he died from cancer in 1996. She has an older sibling, Paul, who is now a New York DJ. Sevigny was raised in a strict Catholic household, and attended Darien High School. While in high school, she babysat Topher Grace on several occasions.
Sevigny moved into her own apartment at age 18 in Brooklyn. Here, in 1993, after hanging out with Manhattan skateboarders, she was spotted on an East Village street by a fashion editor of Sassy Magazine, who was so impressed by Sevigny's style that she asked her to intern at the magazine. She later modeled in the magazine as well as for x-girl, the fashion label of Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth. During that time, author Jay McInerney saw her around New York CityThe New Yorker, in which he dubbed her the new "it-girl". She appeared on the album cover of The Gigolo Aunts' 1994 recording Flippin Out' and the EP "In Full Bloom. and wrote a seven-page article about her for
Early roles: 1995–1999
Sevigny made her film debut in the controversial low-budget independent film Kids (1995), directed by Larry Clark and written by independent filmmaker Harmony Korine. The film was given an NC-17 rating by the MPAA for its graphic depiction of sexuality and drug use involving teenagers. Sevigny followed Kids with the independent film Trees Lounge (1996), starring as the object of Steve Buscemi's affection. Sevigny then starred in and worked as a fashion designer on Gummo (1997), directed and written by Harmony Korine. The film details the dysfunctional lives of residents of Xenia, Ohio. She then starred in the 1998 neo-noir thriller Palmetto, directed by Volker Schlöndorff. She then had a leading role in The Last Days of Disco (1998), alongside Kate Beckinsale.
Sevigny rose to prominence after playing Lana Tisdel in Boys Don't Cry (1999), a biopic of transman Brandon Teena, who was raped and murdered in 1993. The role won Sevigny Best Supporting Actress nominations for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.Independent Spirit Award, a Satellite Award, and a Sierra Award for her performance. Sevigny also won an
Later roles and success: 2000–2006
Sevigny then had a supporting role in American Psycho (2000), as well as teaming up with KidsGummo director Harmony Korine once again for the experimental piece Julien Donkey-Boy (1999) and A Map of the World (1999). Afterward she co-starred in one of the three stories in the Emmy Award-winning television movie If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000), pairing up with Michelle Williams as unlikely young lovers. Sevigny here plays a butch lesbianfeminist scene in the 1970s. Following this appearance, she had small roles in Demonlover (2002), Party Monster (2003), Death of a Dynasty (2003), and Dogville writer and who struggles to fit in the (2003).
After Winona Ryder and Kirsten Dunst both turned down roles in The Brown Bunny (2003), Sevigny took on the lead female role. The film is controversial for its final scene, which involves an act of unsimulated fellatio performed to climax by Sevigny on co-star and director Vincent Gallo, who was rumored to be her boyfriend at the time, though Gallo states they were "less than friends". She said about the role:
"I knew people would not understand it. It's a shame people write so many things when they haven't seen it. When you see the film, it makes more sense. It's an art film. It should be playing in museums. It's like an Andy Warhol movie."
2006 to the present
In 2006, Sevigny co-starred in the HBO television series Big Love, about a family of polygamists. She plays the conniving, shopaholic daughter of a cult leader and second wife to a polygamist husband. She also had roles in Catherine and Peter, scheduled for 2008, and Zodiac, which was released in early 2007.
In October 2007 the French fashion house Chloé announced that she would be one of the spokesmodels for their new fragrance. In addition, she has been in a number of cover photo shoots and interviews, such as in the January 2007 issue of House and Garden titled "Subversive Spirit". Sevigny is currently releasing a clothing line in conjunction with downtown New York City boutique Opening Ceremony, which is expected to open in mid 2008. She also starred in Smog's 2006 film clip for "Mother of the World". Sevigny also has several film projects currently in post-production, including Barry Munday and Mr. Nice.
More recently Sevigny starred in the video to Beck's 'Gamma Ray'.