Indie starlet Chloe Sevigny — who currently stars in Woody Allen's new film, Melinda and Melinda — is no stranger to risky roles. (The Brown Bunny, anyone?) Her next TV project might win her more controversy than she bargained for, however.
"I'm about to do a TV show for HBO called Big Love," says the 31-year-old actress. "It's a modern-day, Six Feet Under-like drama about a Mormon fundamentalist family.
"The family has three wives," Sevigny continues. "I play the middle wife and I grew up in the community on a compound. My father, played by the great Harry Dean Stanton, is the community's prophet, so my character has a bit of an ego trip going on. She thinks she's a princess because her father is this important man. And [she's] stuck in between these two other wives, which is difficult. It's like being the middle child. I overspend and act bratty, and I'm also a really bad mother. All the other wives take care of the kids and I'm like, 'Eh.'"
Playing opposite Sevigny are Jeanne Tripplehorn (Waterworld) as the eldest wife, Ginnifer Goodwin (Mona Lisa Smile) as the youngest wife and Bill Paxton as the family's polygamous patriarch.
"We've already shot the pilot and we're going to start shooting the series at the end of the month," Sevigny reveals, adding that Big Love will most likely debut on Sunday nights in the fall, after Six Feet Under's final season concludes.
"I watched a lot of Dateline specials to prepare for the role," she says. "I also read Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, which was a fascinating book."
Considering the controversial subject matter of Big Love, it's no surprise that Sevigny is already steeling herself for the outcry from the Mormon community. "They try to sweep this kind of stuff under the carpet as much as they can because it gives them a bad name," she says. "The production company was like, 'Oh, we're going to go shoot in Salt Lake City.' And I was just thinking, 'Are you kidding me? There's no way you're going to Salt Lake!'"