Chloë Sevigny sat down with the Advocate to discuss being a gay icon, a lesbian favorite and a girl-kissing machine on and off camera.
It was her Oscar-nominated role in Boys Don't Cry that made lesbians fall in love-or at least lust-with the 35-year-old actress, but after winning the Golden Globe for her portrayal of Nicki Grant, the sister-wife in HBO's polygamy drama Big Love, we are all hoping there is a pattern here.
Advocate: When did you first feel that love from gay people?
Sevigny: Right after Kids came out. I was working in this store called Liquid Sky on Lafayette Street, which was rave central in New York City, and I had a lot of gay boys coming in and coming up to me in the street. The first person who ever came up to me was actually a really young, very sweet boy with AIDS. But even way before that I used to make out with a lot of girls and gay boys when we were on Rohypnol - which I probably shouldn't say. [Laughs] There was a lot of kissing in the club scene - boys, girls, gays, straights, and all the rest.
When you spoke to us in 2000 you had already filmed but hadn't seen If These Walls Could Talk 2, so you were worried about how your lesbian fans would react to your butch lesbian character. You said, "I'm so scared they're all going to turn on me and hate me for a bad representation." How was the response?
When I first met with [executive producer] Ellen DeGeneres about it, she was like, "You can't play butch." I said, "Just watch me." I feel like the lesbian community really liked that film and liked me in it, so I think I did them proud. But I still haven't seen it! I should ask for a DVD. I'd probably love it now because I probably look really young and beautiful.
You also kissed girls in the Lemonheads video for "Big Gay Heart." When lesbians hit on you, do you break their big gay hearts gently or shoot them down quick?
I have to shoot 'em down quick. [Laughs] They always want to buy me drinks, but I'll be like, "Save your money. I get free drinks here." It doesn't happen all the time, but it may happen if I go to certain gay spots - like on Saturday night, when I was at this super-lesbo party [Choice Cunts] downstairs at Santos Party House. It was fun.
You've said that people thought you were a lesbian while growing up in Darien, Conn. Why do you think that was?
I was a tomboy and went through a lot of different phases. When you shave your head and pierce your nose during your junior year in high school, that'll do it. But you didn't need to do much back then.
In a 2000 New York Times profile, you said, "I've questioned issues of gender and sexuality since I was a teenager, and I did some experimenting." Did you mind that some people branded you as "bisexual" after that?
There were a lot of articles that made reference to that, but at this point I couldn't care less what people call me. I still kiss girls occasionally, but I wouldn't say I was bisexual.
Read the complete interview with Chloë Sevigny here.