I don’t know what to think about this season of Big Love.
Something about the show has always drawn me in. I’m sure part of it, of course, is the women.
I’m also intrigued by the religious themes and how fundamentalism, whatever its form, ultimately results in abuse of power. This season has taken that to the extreme, a subject we’ll tackle in a different post. For now, let’s just focus on Nicki, shall we?
Chloë Sevigny (finally) won a Golden Globe this year for Best Supporting actress for her portrayal of Nicki Grant – one of Bill Henrickson’s three wives.
Her performance has been remarkable from day one of Big Love. The character of Nicki is very complex, thanks mostly to the fact that she was raised on the polygamist compound Juniper Creek and is daughter of the sect’s prophet, Roman Grant. Her relationship with Bill is complicated by the fact that Bill, who also was raised at Juniper Creek, has left the sect and started his own church in direct defiance to Roman.
This season, Nicki is trying to find her way to being “normal,” with limited success, by changing her hair and wardrobe and general demeanor.
Her discomfort — and the way it makes us feel as viewers — is quite an acting achievement for someone as inherently sexy as Chloë Sevigny.
On NPR’s Fresh Air, Sevigny told Terry Gross that she prepared to play Nicki by immersing herself in information about the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a polygamous offshoot of the Mormon Church.
"I read as much literature as I could find … just trying to wrap my head around that world and where these people are coming from and their beliefs," Sevigny says. "I just wanted to respect the character with respect for her and her beliefs."
She also said that she actually enjoys her modest wardrobe.
"It was always a fantasy of mine growing up — my favorite program was always Little House on the Prairie — so I always wanted to wear those looks. When I was a child, I wouldn’t let my mom put me in anything but calico dresses and now … whaddaya know, every day I’m in a calico dress, basically, so it’s kind of funny."
Listen to the entire interview here and let us know what you think.
Is Chloë Sevigny on track for an Emmy this year?