Tag Archives: Chloe Sevigny

“Hey, Show That Made Me Famous, YOU SUCK! Now give me my big fat check . . .”

“Hello everybody!  I’d like to introduce you to my High Horse!”

This week was a busy one for Outspoken TV Starlets.  It began with Katherine Heigl announcing that she was leaving Grey’s Anatomy, and that her formerly “temporary” hiatus from the show had just become a permanent one.  Thus making for a sort of unplanned, and awkward, ending for her character, Izzie Stevens

“Nice knowing ya, Emmy! Looks like I’ll never be seeing YOU again!”

 Then, later in the week, Entertainment Weekly released this “Sorry, I was such a bitch before,” interview from the absentee starlet.

Even LATER in the week, during an interview with the AV Club, Big Love star, Chloe Sevigny, had some not-so-nice things to say about her beloved HBO series’ rocky fourth season.

“The bad news is, I put my foot in my mouth.  The good news is, now a lot of people are going to start renting “The Brown Bunny” again to watch me put something ELSE in there . . .”

Here’s what she said . . .

AVC: This past season of Big Love has taken a lot of flak for being so over-the-top.

CS: It was awful this season, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not allowed to say that! [Gasps.] It was very telenovela. I feel like it kind of got away from itself. The whole political campaign seemed to me very farfetched. I mean, I love the show, I love my character, I love the writing, but I felt like they were really pushing it this last season. And with nine episodes, I think they were just squishing too much in. HBO only gave us nine Sundays, because they have so much other original programming—especially with The Pacific—and they only have a certain amount of Sundays per year, so we only got nine Sundays. I think that they had more story than episodes. I think that’s what happened.

AVC: It sort of became like Mormon Dynasty

CS: [Laughs.] I know, I know. I’ve heard a lot of other things like that.

AVC: What was it like when they first laid out what they wanted to accomplish this season? What was your reaction?

CS: They don’t. We only get it episode to episode. We never know what’s going to happen in the next episode until we’re almost finished shooting the one we’re shooting at present. Me and the girls [Jeanne Tripplehorn and Ginnifer Goodwin] definitely were not very happy with where it was going—or more kind of, “We really hope it’s going to work. It seems like they’re really pushing it.” I think next season, they’re going to go back to more just the family. I think that the stuff with Ben and Lois and that stuff was really great in Mexico, but… [Laughs.]

You can find THAT interview in its entirety here.

Of course, one day later, Chloe made HER obligatory mea culpa  . . . sort of.

“Just kidding!  LOL!”

What happened? Why’d you say it?
SEVIGNY:
[Long pause] I feel like what I said was taken out of context, and the [reporter] I was speaking to was provoking me. I was in Austin [at the SXSW festival] and really exhausted and doing a press junket and I think I just… I wasn’t thinking about what I was saying. You know, after a day of junkets sometimes things slip out that you don’t mean, and I obviously didn’t mean what I said in any way, shape, or form. I love being on the show. I have nothing but respect and admiration for our writers and everybody involved with the show . . .

(It looks like she’s playing a bit of a “blame game” with the interviewer in question, which makes her apology seem a bit less than sincere . . . ).

You can read the rest of this SECOND interview here.

*          *           *              *

I have to admit, I am a bit torn, regarding my views on this type of “talk” from actors and actresses regarding their shows.  On one hand, I was a journalism major in college, and I went to law school after that.  Plus, I am a blogger and sort-of novelist in my spare time.  So, the First Amendment and I?  We are pretty close . . .

And, yes, Katherine Heigl and Chloe Sevigny kind of have a point when it comes to certain decisions that their writers have made regarding the shows on which they star (or formerly starred, in the case of Katherine).

As far as television romances go, “Gizzie” was kind of lame (And, let’s be honest, the moniker is vaguely pornographic, but NOT in a sexy way . . .)

“Perhaps “Spermie” would be more appropriate?”

And, then there were those bizarro episodes where Izzie cheated on Karev, by having Hallucination Sex with Dead Denny . . .

“It was a tight economy!  I wanted to save money on condoms!”

Oh, and let’s not forget that episode where Izzie saved the DEER!

“What the f*ck is this?  They told me I would get to be on Lost!  Get my agent on the phone, NOW!”

And as far as Big Love is concerned?  There WERE some good storylines during Season 4.  But there were also a lot of not-so-good ones . . .

Sorry Sissy . . .

ON THE OTHER HAND . . .

Actresses like Katherine Heigl and Chloe Sevigny are extremely fortunate people.  In a world where everyone and their mother wants to work in Hollywood, they are actually doing it.  In an economy, where 10 plus %of the country is unemployed, Katherine and Chloe are regularly pulling in big pay checks, living in large homes, and taking very long HIATUSES a.k.a.  vacations, every year . . . 

When you are on a show that has been around as long as Grey’s Anatomy, or even Big Love, you are bound to run across some bad storylines, weak episodes, and character inconsistencies.  And, yes, an actor or actress is certainly entitled to his or her opinion about the direction in which their show is traveling.  However, to express one’s grievances so publicly and in such a harsh manner, just seems a bit tacky to me, and a tad ungrateful.  

There are millions of actors and actresses out there who would literally KILL for an opportunity to be part of a GIZZIE, or have tumor-induced hallucination sex, or get artificially inseminated with their television daughter’s egg . . . but they CAN’T, because those jobs are already taken by people who don’t seem to really appreciate them.

 If I  ran crying to the news media every time I had a work-related gripe, I’d be willing to bet my bosses wouldn’t be as “supportive and understanding” as the producers of Grey’s Anatomy  or Big Love have been.  In fact, I’d probably be on the unemployment line so fast, I wouldn’t even have time to steal a Red Swingline Stapler from my desk . . .

MY PRECIOUS . . .”

By denigrating their shows in this way, Katherine and Chloe were not only sticking it to the producers (who, in both cases, took a chance on them when they were fledgling stars, and helped to build their careers), they were also sticking it to the hardworking writers of their shows, their costars, and US, the fans, who have stuck by these series through thick and thin, and may or may not have agreed with all of their assessments. 

I don’t know about you, but when I watch a television program, I LIKE to separate from reality, and pretend the characters on the screen are real.  I can’t do THAT, if everytime I see Nikki Grant on screen, I imagine her inwardly rolling her eyes, and thinking, “Ugghh, not this awful Senate storyline again . . .”

But, then again . . . maybe, that’s just ME . . .

 

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Lost Boys and Peter Pan Complexes – A Recap of Big Love’s “The Sins of The Father”

Welcome back, Big Lovers!  A lot has happened since we last visited the Henrickson clan.  Bill got the Senate nomination!  Ben went off to live with his Bat-S*&^ Crazy Grandma!  Barb got hot and steamy with another man!

Tonight’s episode had a lot to do with accepting responsibility for, and coming to terms with, one’s past.  While some characters were able to do this successfully, others seemed to regress, resorting to pouting, name-calling, manipulation, and other childish antics, to get what they wanted. 

So, what do you say we jump on the campaign bandwagon, to find out which Henricksons “grew up,” and which decided to remain in Never Never Land?

Father Knows Least

“I just can’t understand why all of you won’t cater to my every whim.”

If you recall, erstwhile D-Bag Bill kicked his 17-year-old son Ben out of the house, because his wife, Margene, developed feelings for Ben and kissed him on the mouth.  All of this was clearly Ben’s fault!  After all, despite his youth, Ben is a MAN!  Therefore, he should ABSOLUTELY be responsible for controlling the inappropriate sexual urges of all of the “weak and feeble-minded” women in his life.  Right?

 (Ooh, perhaps I went a bit heavy on the sarcasm there . . . Naaaah.)

“Man, compared to this guy, even I’m evolved!”

In addition to banishing his own son, Bill is also giving Margene the cold shoulder.  Barb initially pleads with Bill to take back his son and play nice with Margene.  “You have to forgive her,” Barb lectures, using words that will come back to haunt her by the episode’s end.

However, when Barb learns that this was more than just a “missed peck on the cheek,” her tune quickly changes.  She too begins giving Margene the cold shoulder.  And how does Margene respond to all this iciness?  By sucking on a helium balloon and speaking in an “adorably” squeaky voice, of course.  (I’m not kidding.  She actually does this.)

“Margene is hot and all.  But I am starting to think that she is a bit too immature for me.  Too bad Sarah is already taken . . .”

While crashing at his Big Sister Sarah’s, Ben calls his Grandma Lois, in hopes of getting some money with a much-needed side of sympathy.  When Ma Henrickson learns what Bill did, she is understandably horrified, not to mention overcome with guilt.  This situation forces Lois to recall how she sat idly by, while her husband threw Bill and his brother Joey out of the house, when both were barely teenagers.

Lois confronts Bill with the intention of preventing him from repeating his father’s mistakes.  However, the self-involved Lois winds up merely defending her own cowardly past misdeeds.  “This isn’t my fault,” she whines.  (Oh, yes, it is!)

Later, when Bill gets roped into spending the evening at his own casino to please an important campaign contributor (This is the first time I’ve actually seen him there all season), he is mortified to find his own parents in attendance and causing a scene.  Bill and his father soon come to blows.  Bill blames his father for his crappy childhood.  Papa Henrickson responds by calling Bill out on his own hypocrisy.  They beat each other up a bit.

To make matters even worse for Bill, Joey, typically a staunch supporter of Bill’s, surprises his brother by taking his father’s side.  “You are on the wrong path, brother,” scolds Joey. 

And in polygamist speak, telling someone that they are on the wrong path is about as bad as telling them to go %$& themselves.  (Worse, actually, since polygamists don’t curse).

Nikki Develops a Conscience

Nikki’s been a busy little bee lately.  Bill has decided to pimp her out to his opponent’s campaign in order to collect some helpful intel.  At the same time, she is posing as Bill’s “assistant,” Daphne, in order to quell the suspicions of the devious lobbyist, Marilyn.  “Why am I always the one asked to do morally ambiguous things?”  Nikki inquires.  (Good question.)

Bill puts up some lame excuse about delegating jobs that cater to everyone’s individual strengths.  Nikki, who obviously has dreadfully low self esteem, seems to buy into this.  But I, for one, would be hugely offended, if I were her.  Basically, Bill has just told his own wife that her “strengths” lie in being a conniving bitch.  Based on past experience, this may be true, but still . . . 

“I’m not bad.  I’m just drawn that way.”

Some Like it Hot

To say that Bill’s Senatorial campaign is bringing out the worst in Barb is the understatement of the century.  Normally calm and collected, Barb lashes out at Margene when she finds out the true nature of her feelings for Ben, calling her a flirt and a floozy.  Barb then gets real classy, outing Margene’s deceased mother as a low-class alcoholic.

“Oh no she di-dn’t!”

Barb concludes this “mature and rational” meeting of the minds by knocking down Margene’s bracelet sales display with the verve and intensity of a playground bully.  Realizing that she needs to “cool off,” Barb heads to the casino where she encounters its co-owner Tommy.  Instead of cooling things off for Barb, Tommy decides to heat them up, by taking Barb to a sweat lodge.

Tommy’s hot shirtless bod doesn’t go unnoticed by Barb, particularly when she finds out that he is a widower.  The sexual tension between these two has been evident since they started arguing with one another early in the season about how to run the casino.  Now, it appears the pair has reached a whole new level of “hot for each other”-ness.

Barb leaves the sweat lodge before things can get too steamy between her and Tommy.  However, she returns there on her own to gather her thoughts at the end of the episode.  I having a feeling that this is not the last we will see of Barb and Tommy.

(It is now official.  Every single wife of Bill’s has had an emotion affair on his ass.  It serves him right, as far as I am concerned . . .)

Rebel With a Cause

In Bill’s defense, he actually made some important strides toward being a decent human being, during this episode.  For one thing, he refused to link up with the clearly EEEEVVVIL lobbyist Marilyn, despite the fact that doing so would undoubtedly help his campaign.

Bill does the right thing again, when tragic news hits Utah regarding a “Lost Boy,” who escaped from the Juniper Creek compound, robbed a convenient store, and ended up being killed as a result.  When Bill’s Senatorial adversary, Coburn, pushes him to take a hard stance against the dead youth and the crimes he committed, Bill takes the high road and refuses.  Later, in secret, he contacts the county and ensures that the boy be given a proper burial.

On the day of the primary runoff election, Bill returns to the convention center to find it wallpapered with his mug shot, which was taken during his own “Lost Boy” teenage years.  And I’ll be darned if the young Bill Henrickson isn’t a spitting image of the young Frank Sinatra.

(Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the actual “Henrickson mugshot” to post here.  However, anyone who saw the episode could probably back me up on this one.)

During the Republican Primary Debate, Bill surprises everyone by coming clean about his father’s abuse, his mother’s abandonment, and his childhood crimes.  In a heartfelt speech that literally brought tears to my eyes, erstwhile D-Bag Bill invites his community to take responsibility for its “Lost Children,” and accept these neglected children’s sins as their own.

As a result of this admittedly awesome speech, Bill wins the primary against his highly unsympathetic opponent, who actually reminded me a lot of this guy . . .

During the celebration of his victory, a humbled Bill agrees to try and reconcile with Margene.  He even goes as far as to patronize Barb for not being as open and godlike as he has just recently become.  “You have to forgive her,” Bill scolds, throwing Barb’s own words from the episode’s opening back in her face.  (Burn!)

As much as that line made me cringe, when Sarah tells Bill that young Ben did not come to his victory celebration; and has, instead, went off to live with Crazy Ma and Pa Henrickson, I genuinely felt bad for the guy.

Growing up isn’t always easy . . .

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Weekend at Roman’s – A Recap of Big Love, Season 4, Episode 1 “Free at Last”

            Greetings “Big Lovers!”  It’s that time again.  After the obligatory year-long hiatus that has become trademark for HBO Series, our favorite polygamist family are back to grace our television screens with their Heavenly Father-loving presence.  So, without further adieu, gather up all your wives, broil up some crab legs, and let’s get on with the show, shall we?

            Big Love’s premiere episode began with a brand new opener and corresponding theme song.  The show’s producers have decided to ditch The Beach Boys’, sappily sweet and jubilantly jolly, “God Only Knows,” for the sad emo sounds of Animal Kingdom’s “Bright Lights.”  Really?  An ultra hip indie rock song as an opener for a television show about uptight polygamists in Utah?  Call me a fuddy duddy, but I am just not that comfortable with my Henricksons having cooler taste in music than I do.

            In addition to the new song, the old opening sequence has also been unceremoniously dumped.  No longer will we be treated to images of the Henrickson family holding hands as they enjoy ice skating through a sea of white, or chowing down on a bountiful outdoor meal under a sun-filled sky.  Instead, each of the four main characters are now shown amidst a sea of black, falling.  Not just falling, but falling “dramatically.” It was almost as if the entire cast of Big Love had taken an acting class together, in which they were given directions such as “fall sad,”  “fall happy,” “fall contemplative,” “fall constipated,” and we are watching their responses.

                  Remember back when The Sopranos was still on the air, and before each season began, the producers would release a promo poster featuring the entire cast?  (Man, do I miss that show!)  Remember how television pundits across the nation would use up pages and pages of magazine space analyzing the poster and its implications for the upcoming season?  Well, I could only guess that the producers of Big Love were going for the same effect here.  But for me, the new somber-toned opener was a tad esoteric, more than a bit depressing, and just plain over-ambitious.

            Overall, the series’ excessive ambition was a problem that plagued the entire episode, which seemed to be heading a million directions at once, making it difficult for the viewer to become particularly invested in any one story.  Nevertheless, there were some intriguing stories presented here, which definitely deserve their due.  Here are some of the new plotlines that jump started Season 4:

Plot 1: Weekend at Roman’s

            Although this will undoubtedly make me sound morbid as heck, this was by far my favorite plotline of the night.  When we last saw The Prophet of Juniper Creek (played with “dirty old man” goodness by Harry Dean Stanton), he had just been smothered under the weight of a pillow held by Bill’s brother, Joey and was, presumably, dead.

            Now, Roman is missing.  And yet, for a dead guy, he seems surprisingly adept at investing.  Apparently the aforementioned corpse has recently come into large sums of money – said money having been purportedly deposited into a new bank account opened in Roman’s name by his daughter and Bill’s scheming adulterer of a second wife, Nikki Grant (Chloe Sevigny).  As a result, the FBI are literally invading upon the lives of our characters in search of the errant Roman, raiding the compound and harassing Nikki, who, of course, denies all accusations against her. 

            When a hysterical Adaleen Grant (Mary Kay Place) calls Nikki about a power outage on the compound, her daughter reluctantly purchases a generator and heads to her estranged mother’s doorstep.  Nikki drops off the generator and turns to leave when her mother implores her to remain for a BLT sandwich. (This seemed to be an odd lunch choice for a bunch of religious extremists, so my Spidey Sense was immediately tingling by this point.)  Nevertheless, when Adaleen requested that Nikki go down to the cellar to “bring home the bacon,” Nikki obediently complied.

            I instantly expected Momma Grant to lock Nikki in the cellar, but she surprised me and didn’t.  What happened next was far more interesting.  When Nikki reaches the end of the dark creepy compound basement and moves the slabs of meat out of the way, she finds herself face-to-face with a Roman Grantsicle.  Yep, it appears Roman Grant has been reduced from the living leader of the Juniper Creek LDS community to a very realistic Madame Tussaud wax figure of Harry Dead Stanton, complete with icicles hanging from its nose.  And if that’s not dead, I don’t know what is.

            When Nikki informs her brother Alby (Matt Ross) about their father’s death and subsequent baconey burial, he can barely restrain his unadulterated glee at the news.  “No, you be sad!  It’s very, very sad,” Nikki scolds self-righteously.

            And yet, Nikki is not gone for two seconds before Alby and his Lady MacBeth-esque wife, Laura (Anne Dudek) begin their “Daddy is Dead Celebration Party!”  Laura, ever the rebel, goes as far as to remove two cans of Coors Light from their otherwise empty fridge!  (Apparently, when stocking up on the LDS-verboten alcohol, the Grants neglected to purchase any real food.  Perhaps Abaleen should send over some of her famous BLT sandwiches?)

                 Empty fridge aside, it is Laura who triumphantly utters the very words that make up the episode’s title, “Free at Last.”  Alby, whose fur-free baby face does mustache-twirling villany like no other, is slightly more restrained than his wife.  Instead of jumping for joy, Nikki’s bad seed brother calmly sits back in his chair, clasps his hands together and says tonelessly, “My destiny is filled.  God will surely punish those who block my path to Glory.”

            Later that evening, Alby and Laura are seen driving together in a car that bears some very precious cargo.  “Did you see that?  He just gave me a mean look, because I’m going to be the prophet now,” explains Alby childishly, as he stares intently at our favorite frozen LDS leader in the backseat.

            Our well-traveled human ice sculpture pops up again later, somewhat thawed out, on the grounds where the Henrickson’s new casino is set to open in just a few days.  There he sits, soaking up some sun, while lying a comfy beach chair, in what must be a send up to that classic 80’s dead-guy flick “Weekend at Bernie’s.”  And pardon me for saying that, just like the titular Bernie Lomax, Roman Grant seems to be having way more fun dead than he ever did alive.

            Fortunately, as always, Bill (played by the still sexy Bill Paxton) is there to save the day.  With Nikki in toe, he carts the Roaming Roman away in his car, presumably toward a proper burial.  En route, he and Nikki, who we learn have not screwed since he found out she was cheating on him with the DA investigating her father last season, share a moment.  Bill provides comfort, delicately taking his second wife’s hand, when the heretofore stoic Nikki finally breaks down and cries over the death of her not-so-paternal daddy.

Plot 2: Mother and Child

            On the homefront, the Henrickson clan is adjusting to yet another new addition to their already insanely large family: namely, Nikki’s 14-year old daughter, Cara Lynn.  Fearing that her former husband J.J. will enter her daughter into the Joy Book, making her eligible for marriage at the compound, Nikki takes Cara Lynn into her home, and hides her from authorities.  Cara Lynn, who desires the opportunity to attend public school, agrees.  We learn from Nikki, that Cara Lynn has done exceedingly well on her placement exams, and will start public school a grade ahead of other girls her age.  (Gee, the Juniper Creek educational system must be awesome.  When can I enroll?)

            When J.J. storms into the Henrickson’s backyard and demands the return of his daughter, Bill, ever the peacekeeper, brokers a compromise.  He proposes Cara Lynn be returned to J.J on weekends, provided that she be allowed to attend school and stay with the Henricksons during the week.  J.J. reluctantly agrees, and actually seems like a pretty good dad in his initial interaction with his daughter.  He denies designs on placing Cara Lynn in the Joy Book, and even offers to re-enroll her in school at the compound, if that is what she wants.  Cara Lynn promises J.J. that she has every intention of returning to him once the school year ends.  She even agrees to go with him to Kansas when he moves there the following summer.

Plot 3: Itchy and Scratchy Henrickson

            In my least favorite plot point of the night, Ma and Pa Henrickson (played by, Grace Zabriski and Bruce Dern, respectively) continued their three season trend of finding new and increasingly less inventive ways to try and kill one another.  Frank, for his part, hired goons with nooses to accost Lois when he picked her up in his car.  Lois, in return, put a gun to Frank’s head.  Later, after a tedious tussle in Lois’s new home, the couple came to a temporary truce, agreeing to become business partners in Lois’s new hare-brained (or should I say “bird-brained”) profit-making scheme, which involves buying parrots for $30 and selling them for $700.  Here’s hoping that these two play nice for at least a few more episodes.

Plot 4: I Want Crab Legs!

            In the season opener, we find that the often-underestimated Margene (played by the adorable Ginnifer Goodwin) has become overwhelmed with juggling her new jewelry making career and the public relations aspects associated with opening the Blackfoot Magic Casino.  As we learned last year, Margene exhibited quite a bit of natural talent when it came to schmoozing the Blackfoot people.  I love that the once-juvenile and needy Margene is finally coming into her own as a capable and intelligent woman this season. 

              Margene encourages Barb (Jean Tripplehorn) to take over her responsibilities regarding the Casino, claiming that doing so will help the First Wife regain the confidence she lost after being excommunicated from her church.  And yet, Barb, typically the universal caretaker, and quintessential Super Mom, finds herself to be lacking in the social skills and personable warmth necessary to handle the Henrickson’s newest business partners.  She butts heads with them in many ways, most notably regarding the food choice for the casino’s opening night.  Barb demands that they serve crab legs, apparently a main stay on every Mormon family dinner table, while the Blackfoot tribe prefers salmon. 

                 When Bill is way-layed on the casino’s opening night, and the Casino’s would-be headliner Kenny Rogers can’t make it there in time to perform, Margene encourages Barb to make the opening night speech.  Barb initially looks incredibly nervous and awkward, standing in front of the gaming crowd.  However, she ultimately does an admirable job welcoming her new customers to the casino.  She ends her short speech, by introducing her son Ben’s band to the crowd, as it performs a slightly pitchy karaoke-esque cover of Rogers’ once chart-topping The Gambler.

                 Judging by the impressive amount of green stashed in the metal box exhibited to the family at the end of the night by the security staff, Barb’s awkward introduction did little to diminish the new casino’s giant profit margin.  All in all, the casino’s opening night appeared to be a successful one.

Plot 1 (Reprise): Dead Guys Don’t Always Wear Black

             Unfortunately, when it comes to the Henricksons, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is.  Despite, the Casino’s opening night success, angry Blackfoot Tribe representatives confront Bill at the end of the evening.  Holding Roman’s iconic white hat aloft like the talisman of evil it clearly is, the tribe representatives demand answers.  It appears that “Dead Roman” is having some trouble keeping himself buried.

                I have to say, this part rang just a bit untrue for me.  Are we really supposed to believe that the Blackfoots would instantly identify that hat as belonging to Roman Grant.  Sure, he was wearing it in his Wanted Poster, but doesn’t everyone in Utah own at least one white cowboy hat?  Come on now . . .  

              That aside, the re-emergence of the white hat was an intriguing end to an uneven episode.  Here’s hoping it symbolizes the promise of better episodes to come.

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