Chloe Sevigny and ‘Big Love’ creators talk about the final season
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‘I’m a bigger person now, and I won’t go back to being small”: That could be the manifesto for Nicki Grant (as played by Chloe Sevigny) in the final season of “Big Love,” which returns to HBO on Sunday.
She should also have added, “And I won’t wear those long skirts and puffy braids anymore,” because this season Sevigny has been freed from her character’s prissy prairie skirt and allowed to move into 21st century fashion (or at least 20th century). Which is no small thing, considering that Sevigny, one of the coolest actresses on TV, is a fashion icon and designer. In fact, her new collection is available from boutique Opening Ceremony this very weekend. (See a full profile of Chloe Sevigny here.)
Sevigny has an ambivalent relationship with her public image: “Looking at myself on the Internet is like a form of self-flagellation,” she say. “It’s torture. I would rather hammer a nail through my foot than Google-image myself.”
She claims similarly mixed feelings about her “Big Love” wardrobe. On one hand, it helped define her character. On the other hand, it was a bummer to look so dowdy week after week. “You want to be desirable to a certain extent, and here I am wearing these horrible outfits and this horrible hair!” She remembers sometimes coming to the set in short shorts and a T-shirt and getting shocked double takes from the crew. “They’d be so startled, like, oh, my God, you have legs?”
Talking about the final season of “Big Love,” Sevigny says Nicki’s energy is channeled into her daughter, and saving her from Nicki’s fate (being forcibly married off at a very young age, among other things).
The show’s creators, Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer, say they took to heart criticism last season that the show had run amok and chose to narrow their focus this season, zooming in on the Henrickson family unit.
Olsen describes their ambition for the finale as somewhere between the ending of “Six Feet Under” (which followed each character’s storyline into the afterlife) and “The Sopranos” (as open-ended a finish as possible). “I respected [‘The Sopranos’] finale and thought it was intellectually true and honest and smart, but I did not find it emotionally satisfying,’ he says. ‘We want to resolve in an emotionally satisfying way. Those polarities drove the discussion in writers room about how to land it right down the middle.”