Boys Don’t Cry
“I’ll never be a star in America. It’s fine. I don’t want to be. Not in that way. In a Sissy Spacek way, in a Shelley Duvall way, in a Sandy Dennis way, that’s how I’d like to be a star. But movies aren’t as good now as they were in the ‘70s.” Chloe Sevigny
American movie star and model Chloe Sevigny was widely recognized and gained praise when she was cast in the supporting role of Lana Tisdal, the love interest of a captivating man hiding his biological femaleness (Hillary Swank), in the notable independent movie by Kimberly Peirce, Boy’s Don’t Cry (1999). Because of her outstanding performance, she nabbed countless awards such as a Chicago Film Critics Association Award, a Golden Satellite Award, a Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award, an Independent Spirit Award, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, a Boston Society of Film Critics Award and a National Society of Film Critics Award, as well as earned an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild and a Golden Globe nomination.
Initially being notice in the Larry Clark-directed, Harmony Korine-scripted movie Kids (1995), Sevigny continued to impress moviegoers and critics alike with her fine performances in such films as Whit Stillman’s The Last Days of Disco (1998), Korine’s Julien Donkey-Boy (1999), Scott Elliott’s A Map of the World (1999), American Psycho (2000), The Brown Bunny (2003) and Woody Allen’s Melinda and Melinda (2004). Recently playing roles in Manderlay (2005), Broken Flowers (2005), 3 Needles (2005) and Mrs. Harris (2005), Sevigny will soon appear in the forthcoming thriller Zodiac (2006). She is also scheduled to join Tom Hanks (one of the execute producers) for the TV project Big Love (2006).
Off screen, 31-year-old Sevigny is alarmed she will end up an old maid because she isn’t married yet and rejects the idea of having children out of marriage. She confesses she is old fashioned at heart and has always expressed a hope to have kids at a young age. She says, “I don't think I'd have a kid on my own. I'm pretty traditional, and my friends who have kids say you just can't do it alone, it's too much work. I'm not agonizing yet, but I think about it all the time.”
Sevigny is currently dating musician Matthew McAuley. She was also romantically involved with director/writer Harmony Korine and Jarvis Cocker, the frontman for the band Pulp, whom she dated from 1998-1999.
Childhood and Family:
Of French and Polish descent, Chloe Sevigny was born on November 18, 1974, in Springfield, Massachusetts, but raised in Darien, Connecticut, by her accountant-turned-interior-painter father, and her mother Janine Sevigny. In addition to attending summer school in a boarding school near Glion, Switzerland, she was educated at the Thorp High School in Boston, Massachusetts.
During her high school years, Chloe spent a lot of her weekend time watching skateboarders in Washington Square Park, a hangout for many disobedient teenagers and creative types. It was there that she later met the young aspiring director Harmony Korine. Chloe finally moved to New York permanently at age 18, the same year she also began working as an intern at the teen magazine Sassy after being spotted by the magazine’s fashion editor. This led to several modeling jobs, including gigs with the chic design house Miu Miu, Sassy and the urban clothing line created by Sonic Youth front woman Kim Gordon, called X-Girl, as well as appearances in music videos for bands such as Sonic Youth and the Lemonheads. By the mid 1990s, Chloe had added acting to her endeavors.
18-year-old Chloe Sevigny made her way to New York City and joined the group of skater kids who flocked in Washington Square Park. While on the street, she was discovered by a fashion editor for Sassy magazine who soon landed the young girl a job as a magazine intern, which eventually led to a number of modeling gigs. It was also in Washington Square Park that Sevigny first encountered young screenwriter and aspiring director Harmony Korine. The couple’s friendship resulted in her being cast in the starring role Jennie in the Korine-scripted movie Kids (1995). Directed by Larry Clark, Sevigny’s onscreen debut as a virginal teen who contracts HIV from her first sexual encounter won the new performer praise. Sevigny also became a somewhat familiar face among the hip New York City subculture members which inspired novelist Jay McInerney to write a seven page feature article in The New Yorker where he hailed Sevigny the new “it girl.”
After her much-talked-about performance in Kids, Sevigney landed the supporting role of Debbie, the intelligent young assistant and love interest of Steve Buscemi’s ice cream man in Buscemi’s directorial debut Trees Lounge (1996). The following years, she was seen as an albino girl in Korine’s directorial debut Gummo, a drama film detailing the story about Midwestern youngsters who amuse themselves killing cats, before being featured as Odette in German director Volker Schlondorff’s big budget film Palmetto (1998), starring Woody Harrelson and Elisabeth Shue. Unfortunately, the movie was unsatisfactory for both the actress and audiences. Sevigny followed the disappointing projects with a notable performance as Alice Kinnon, a New Hampshire College graduate making her way in NYC in the early 1980s, in Whit Stillman’s The Last Days of Disco (1998). Also in 1998, Sevigney debuted on Off-Broadway with “Hazelwood Jr. High,” a real-life drama of a cruel teenage murder in Rob Urbinati’s uneven play.
By 1999, Sevigny had emerged as one of the most critically acclaimed young Hollywood actresses with a trio of big screen releases. She was first cast as Lana Tisdal, the love interest of Hillary Swank’s Brandon, in Kimberly Peirce’s significant feature Boys Don’t Cry (1999), an independent drama based on the true story of a young woman who lived as a man named Teena Brandon. Delivering an outstanding acting job, Sevigny took home several awards like a
Chicago Film Critics Association, a Golden Satellite, a Las Vegas Film Critics Society, an Independent Spirit, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association, a Boston Society of Film Critics and a National Society of Film Critics for Best Supporting Actress.
Additionally, her well-received performance earned Sevigny an Oscar, a Screen Actors Guild and a Golden Globe nomination.
The Academy Award nominee then perfectly played the lead role of Pearl, a pregnant teen who has a sexual relationship with her schizophrenic brother (Ewen Bremner) in Korine’s ruthless entry into the experimental Dogma ‘95 genre Julien Donkey-Boy (1999) before giving an impressive portrayal of a ill-prepared working mother, Carole Mackessy, in the touching drama A Map of the World (1999) for director Scott Elliott. The film starred Sigourney Weaver and Dara Perlmutter.
After appearing in the off-Broadway production of “What the Butler Saw” (2000), Sevigny was back on the wide-screen with the bit part of Jean in Mary Harron’s adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ controversially brutal crime novel American Psycho (2000, starring Christian Bale and Justin Theroux). That same year, she made her TV movie debut with the lesbian-themed HBO movie If These Walls Could Talk 2, starring opposite Sharon Stone, Ellen DeGeneres, Vanessa Redgrave and Michelle Williams. 2002 and 2003 saw roles in a short film Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet (2002), the French techno thriller Demonlover (2002, with Connie Nielsen and Gina Gershon), the drama Party Monster (2003, alongside Macauley Culkin and Seth Green), Death of a Dynasty (2003), Lars Von Trier’s Dogville (2003, opposite Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgard, Paul Bettany and Lauren Bacall), the Vincent Gallo’s controversial film The Brown Bunny (2003) and Shattered Glass (2003, with Hayden Christensen).
In addition to playing Laurel, the former college friend of a neurotic self-destructive woman (Radha Mitchell) in the tragic portion of writer-director Woody Allen’s dual-structured Melinda and Melinda (2004), Sevigney made a guest appearance as a lesbian real-estate speculator in an episode of the popular TV series “Will & Grace” in 2004. Sevigny was even busier in 2005 with four movie projects under her belt. Following Manderlay (2005), she appeared in the adventure film Broken Flowers (2005), which starred Bill Murray and Julie Delpy, played the young novice nun Clara in 3 Needles (2005) and was cast as a nurse opposite Ben Kingsley and Annette Bening, in director Lars von Trier’s Mrs. Harris (2005). Sevigny will soon reemerge on the small screen as part of the cast in the Tom Hanks’ HBO production of Big Love (2006) and is set to play the small role of Graysmith’s girlfriend in the upcoming thriller Zodiac (2006) for director David Fincher.
- Chicago Film Critics Association: Best Supporting Actress, Boys Don’t Cry, 2000
- Golden Satellite: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Drama, Boys Don’t Cry, 2000
- Las Vegas Film Critics Society: Sierra Award, Best Supporting Actress, Boys Don’t Cry, 2000
- Independent Spirit: Best Supporting Female, Boys Don’t Cry, 2000
- Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Supporting Actress, Boys Don't Cry, 1999
- Boston Society of Film Critics: Best Supporting Actress, Boys Don't Cry, 1999
- National Society of Film Critics: Best Supporting Actress, Boys Don't Cry, 1999