by Kim Gordon
KIM GORDON: This is so funny because we’ve known each other for almost 20 years. [Sevigny gasps] It’s hard to believe.
CHLOË SEVIGNY: Really?
GORDON: I was trying to think of when we met. It was maybe ’92, when we did the video for “Sugar Kane.”
SEVIGNY: I was still in high school then. I was a senior.
GORDON: You grew up in Darien, Connecticut. Were your parents freaked out about you coming to New York as a teenager?
SEVIGNY: Surprisingly not. Even before I came to New York, I was really into going up North. I was obsessed with “northbound.” It was a thing with me and my girlfriends. We’d go to Amherst or Burlington or New Hampshire. We were really anti going southbound on the I-95.
GORDON: Was that a way of rebelling?
SEVIGNY: I don’t know. I guess we were just into nature and more rural open spaces. That was what the North offered. The South was the city and Jersey and D.C., all of which seemed so condensed. And I had a Volkswagen bus my sophomore and junior years. We’d drive up and sleep inside the bus in Harvard Square or Vermont, which, looking back, is much more dangerous than going into New York City. I said to my mom, “I can’t believe you and Dad let me drive around and sleep in this bus. What the hell were you thinking?” [Gordon laughs] They always said there were more good people than bad in the world. They were kind of trusting, so I don’t think they realized some of the scenarios I got into.
- I am worried that some of the choices I’ve made—and because people think of me as this fashion icon—might have affected my film career. -
GORDON: Do you get sick of talking about fashion?
SEVIGNY: No, but I am worried that some of the choices I’ve made—and because people think of me as this fashion icon—might have affected my film career. That people don’t think of me as a serious actress as much—sometimes that worries me.
GORDON: I think that makes you more of a serious actress. In most movies, you have some influence on what you wear. I think that brings so much more to the role. Do you think you have a lot of leeway, or that the costume designer appreciates your input?
SEVIGNY: It depends on the costume designer and how I get along with her—or him. Sometimes it can be a hindrance more than a help because I get too obsessed with it. And sometimes I think a certain thing is good when something else might look better. It can be hard to collaborate.
GORDON: Because the costume designer has an overview of the whole project, not just your character.
SEVIGNY: Yeah, they have all these tone meetings with colors and shapes. If one girl wants to wear this shape then you have to wear that shape. There are all sorts of compromises. Especially on Big Love when it was the three of us. If she’s in purple, I can’t wear purple.
GORDON: It was great on the show when your character shed her old clothes and came out on her own. It was like, Whoa! That must have been fun.
SEVIGNY: It was fun, but I preferred the old Nicki look. It was a uniform, and whenever you’re in a uniform it’s easy to fall into character. Once the uniform was gone, I was much more lost at sea.
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