Heralded as ‘the coolest girl in the world’ by author Jay McInerney when she was 19, critically acclaimed for her portrayal as a teenage AIDS victim in when she was 20 and Oscar-nominated for Boys Don’t Cry aged 25, not to mention a Golden Globe win for HBO’s 2006 drama Big Love, Chloe Sevigny has had her fair share of challenging roles. Now 37, her latest is no exception. She plays a pre-op transsexual assassin in Sky’s gripping new Manchester drama Hit and Miss, written by Shameless’ Paul Abbot. In the latest issue of Grazia (out now!), she talks work ethic, accents and prosthetic genitalia…
Grazia: Your character, Mia, is a contract killer who used to be a man. Controversial?
Chloe Sevigny: I read the script and it was like nothing I’ve read before. I was intrigued by Mia; how complicated she was, how much was going on in her life and the transformation she goes through. It just seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity, how could I pass it up? It’s the biggest role I’ve had in my career.
G: But you’ve been in many seminal movies…
CS: I think it’s the actual being number one on the call sheet, being the star.
G: You played the love interest of a transgendered person in Boys Don’t Cry (opposite Hilary Swank), so it’s not totally new territory for you
CS: It’s a different story. I love that film but it’s hard for me to celebrate it because it was based on a true story and about what happens to real girl. I think it would be disrespectful to use that as a reference.
G: Do you know any transgendered women?
CS: A couple. One in particular I thought about a lot when I was preparing for this, though we’ve never discussed her sexuality. She’s more girly than almost any girl I know - she wears pretty Chloe dresses and Alaia flats. The women I met in Manchester (where the show was filmed) were really generous with their time and stories. They told me about the fear of being caught out and how did they deal with sex. Having read so much about the procedures and emotional accounts, I’m more aware of how damaging and how confusing it is. It’s a lot of pressure to play this part.
G: How did you find Manchester? (Chloe controversially described the city as ‘one of the grimmest places I'd ever been’ in February)
CS: You’ve got to go where the work is. I told my friends; ‘Think of me as at sea and I can’t get off the fucking ship. I’m stuck on it and that’s just the way it is.’ Not that Manchester is a horrible place, but I didn’t have any friends there. One friend came up from London came through and we went to a Manchester City game but I didn’t have many visitors. I knew I was going get pretty lonely. And the weather was terrible. I was like, ‘What do we do? Do we wait for the rain to stop?’ They just said, ‘No we just shoot through the rain, we party through the rain, we live through the rain because it’s not going to stop’ (laughs).
G: You’re also known for your style. What do you love to wear at the moment?
CS: I wear Opening Ceremony all the time. They have so many great designers but their own stuff is my favourite stuff in the store so I’m always wearing a lot of it.
G: What items do you own that are particularly personal to you?
CS: There’s a Rolex from the 60s that I bought last April. I’ve never had anything that blingy before, it was a big purchase. There’s this Russian ring from the 20s I have; its black onyx and gold and platinum and a baby diamond. And a little thumb ring is a gift from Ginnifer Goodwin (her Big Love co-star). It’s inscribed on the inside ‘sister wife’ (laughs). I love this ring I wear it all the time.
For more from Chloe’s interview pick up the new issue of Grazia pronto! Hit and Miss is on Tuesdays, 10pm, Sky Atlantic.
by Scarlett Russell and Hannah Marriot