Chloë Sevigny on Witchcraft, Bill Murray, and Game of Thrones
The Majestic Hotels patio was pulsing on the first Thursday afternoon of the Cannes Film Festival. A fountain pumped water with the acoustic intensity of Niagara Falls. French pop music—which seems to waft omnipresently on the Croisette—oonce-oonced from above. And foreign paparazzi shouted from behind a barricade.
“I feel like Im on acid,” Chloë Sevigny said drolly, wearing gold Tom Ford sunglasses and a 1989 Cannes T-shirt (“Thank god for eBay”) tucked into a pale yellow brocade skirt. She attempted to flag down a waiter who neither spoke English nor seemed interested in attending to customers.
“France,” she shrugged.
The actress was just a few days into an unofficial two-week Cannes residency—she co-stars in what was the festivals opening-night premiere, The Dead Dont Die, alongside Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, and Selena Gomez, and is debuting her new short film, White Echo, next week. So far, her only international inconvenience has been Game of Thrones-related.
“Im very frustrated right now that were in France and I cant watch Game of Thrones,” she said. “Im having a kind of mini-meltdown in private. Didnt see it last Sunday, and then this Sunday . . . how do we watch it here?” Sevigny had her own prediction of the Iron Thrones next occupant—“I kind of was thinking Arya, but now,” she said, unaware of the latest episodesplot twists, “Im not so sure.”
The Dead Dont Die is Sevignys third collaboration with writer-director Jim Jarmusch. But the actress was still intimidated when Jarmusch asked her to star alongside Murray and Driver as a trio of small-town police officers fighting a zombie uprising. “Like, how am I going to make any sort of impact between these two men,” she recalled thinking. “First of all, because of their stature. Second of all, their personalities. I felt like Jim knew them both so well because Bill starred in Broken Flowers and Adam starred in Paterson,” Sevigny pointed out, noting that she had played smaller roles in Broken Flowers and a short-film collaboration. “I felt like Jim very much knew their voices and really wrote for them and their strengths. I was just afraid that I would disappear into the background.”
The Cannes premiere was the first time Sevigny saw the film—and the actress was surprised to discover that she actually liked herself on-screen.
“I dont want to sound like an asshole, but I was pleased with my performance—and the way Jim cut it together. It was the right balance. I liked her vulnerability, and I liked the relationship with Bills character and the tenderness between them. And the way I looked—Fred Elmes is such a great cinematographer. Normally I dont like the way I look [on-screen].”
In The Dead Dont Die, Sevignys character is terrified to encounter her dead friends, neighbors, and even her late grandmother—after they rise from their graves. But in her new short film, White Echo, the protagonist actively seeks connection with the dead via a Ouija board. Sevigny lifted dialogue from real-life seances she and her friends had staged over the spirit board—but declined to elaborate whom they were attempting to communicate with. “Its hard to translate those stories,” she explained. “Did you ever play Ouija?”
My few experiences, I told her, were unsuccessful.
“It really helps if you have someone there thats really committed,” she explained. “And they kind of draw you in. It may help steer the conversation with the spirit, you know?”
The actress is interested enough in witchcraft and the beyond to occasionally Instagram-creep on a certain sorcery subsect—which helped inspire her to write White Echo in two days.
“I was thinking about these girls in Los Angeles that I see on Instagram. Theyre called feather witches and are very into bathing their crystals in the moonlight and the supernatural and witchy-poo kind of stuff,” Sevigny explained. “Then I was thinking about girls in New York that I know that have similar leanings. And I was thinking, Why do I believe the girls in New York and not the girls in Los Angeles? Just like—what does one have to do to convince another of ones talents or powers? It stems from that.” She has been mullinRead More – Source