Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on November 18, 1974, actress Chloë Sevigny made her film debut in the 1995 feature Kids. She followed up with roles in less popular films. Critics related better to her next film, The Last Days of Disco (1998). She emerged in 1999 as one of Hollywood's most critically acclaimed young actresses. Beginning in 2006, she garnered more acclaim for her role as second wife to a polygamist husband in the HBO series Big Love.
Chloë Sevigny was born on November 18, 1974, in Springfield, Massachusetts, and raised in Darien, Connecticut. While attending high school in the affluent suburb of Darien, she began spending a good deal of time in New York City's Greenwich Village, including Washington Square Park, a hangout for many rebellious teenagers and creative types.
Sevigny moved to New York City permanently when she was 18, and worked as an intern at the teen magazine Sassy. Sevigny's unconventional beauty and iconoclastic fashion sense led to some modeling jobs, including a gig with the chic design house Miu Miu, and appearances in the music videos of bands like Sonic Youth and the Lemonheads. By the mid-1990s, she had become a fairly recognizable face among members of the hip New York City subculture, culminating in the fall of 1994 with a lengthy feature article in The New Yorker by novelist Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City) dubbing Sevigny the "coolest girl in the world."
She made her film debut in the controversial 1995 feature Kids, written by Harmony Korine, a young screenwriter she had met during her days in Washington Square Park. Sevigny (who provided some of the inspiration for Korine's screenplay) played a virginal teenager who contracts HIV from her first sexual encounter. She followed up on her much-talked-about performance in Kids with a supporting turn opposite actor Steve Buscemi in Buscemi's directorial debut, Trees Lounge (1996). In 1997, she starred--and acted as costume designer--in her on-and-off boyfriend Korine's first directorial effort, Gummo, the dark and disturbing story of Midwestern teenagers who amuse themselves by killing cats.
Critics (and audiences) related better to Sevigny's next film, The Last Days of Disco (1998), a clever chronicle of the active social lives of a group of affluent young New Yorkers in the early 1980s, written and directed by Whit Stillman. Also in 1998, Sevigny appeared in her first major commercial feature, the disappointing Palmetto, starring Woody Harrelson and Elisabeth Shue.
Sevigny emerged in 1999 as one of Hollywood's most critically acclaimed young actresses, appearing in three films: Korine's characteristically edgy julien donkey-boy; the drama A Map of the World, starring Sigourney Weaver and Julianne Moore; and the emotionally charged Boys Don't Cry, based on a true story and starring Hilary Swank as Teena Brandon, a young Nebraska woman posing as a boy. For her portrayal of Lana Tisdel, the young woman who falls in love with Brandon's masculine alter ego, Sevigny earned numerous accolades, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
In early 2000, Sevigny starred with Sharon Stone, Ellen DeGeneres, Vanessa Redgrave, and Michelle Williams in the lesbian-themed HBO special If These Walls Could Talk 2. She also appears in the long-awaited film version of Bret Easton Ellis's novel, American Psycho, as the sweet-tempered assistant of the titular murderous Wall Street stockbroker. Starting in 2006, her role as second wife to a polygamist husband in the HBO series Big Love garnered critical acclaim.
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