KRIS­TEN STE­WART

CHLOE SEVIGNY AND KRIS­TEN STE­WART TALK TO ON THE LINDSEY BAHR AP­PEAL OF BRING­ING A MORE EMPATHETIC LENS TO THE LIZZIE BORDEN STORY

The Gulf Today - Time Out - - CON­TENTS -

Chloe Sevigny has been try­ing to do a fresh take on the Lizzie Borden tale for over a decade. A fate­ful trip to the house in Fall River, Mass­a­chu­setts, con­vinced her to look at Borden’s life through a dif­fer­ent, more empathetic lens, pulling back the cur­tain on the suf­fo­cat­ing cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the in­fa­mous 1892 ax mur­ders of her fa­ther and step­mother and what might have driven her to do it. Borden was tried and ac­quit­ted of the killings, but con­tin­ues to be a source of in­trigue to­day.

Af­ter years of false starts, “Lizzie,” a tense and beau­ti­fully ren­dered psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller co-star­ring Kris­ten Ste­wart as Brid­get Sullivan, the maid and a piv­otal ig­ure in Borden’s life, is in­ally mak­ing it to select the­atres this week.

Sevigny, 43, and Ste­wart, 28, it girls of dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions, spoke to The As­so­ci­ated Press about the shoot, why the nu­dity in it is “punk” and di­rect­ing short ilms be­fore fea­tures.

The fol­low­ing re­marks have been edited for clar­ity and brevity.

HOW DID YOU DE­CIDE TO GO AF­TER KRIS­TEN?

Sevigny: Bryce (Kass), the writer, said Kris­ten and I was like ‘Oh yeah. No one else.’ So then we went about try­ing to se­duce her.

Ste­wart: I’m re­ally easy. It was not di­fi­cult.

VIS­IT­ING THE HOUSE HELPED YOU FIG­URE OUT THE STORY?

Sevigny: It bore out our de­ci­sion to tell the story this way. Not only were we in­ter­ested in the love story, a tragic love story at that, and them both search­ing for free­dom and in­d­ing each other, but also just the prac­ti­cal­ity that she (Brid­get) was out­side the house. There was no way she couldn’t have known what was go­ing on.

KRIS­TEN WHAT DID YOU FIND COM­PELLING ABOUT BRID­GET?

Ste­wart: I felt pro­tec­tive over her. She’s got truly no voice. I re­ally liked the kind of lens that she pro­vided us of Lizzie. The way she saw her was re­ally sweet and kind of in­no­cent but also pure.

It shows women at that time of dif­fer­ent classes.

Sevigny: They’re all An­drew (Borden’s) pris­on­ers. Me and Abby and Emma and Brid­get. We’re all pris­on­ers in this house­hold to­gether with no op­tions.

TELL ME ABOUT THE DE­CI­SION TO BE FULLY EX­POSED IN THIS FILM.

Sevigny: The movie de­served it. That’s what the movie needed. I think it was even my de­ci­sion. I wanted the movie to have that. And I think it’s kind of punk as a 43-year-old to be naked. I feel like we’re bom­barded with these beauty ideals and I am try­ing to in my small way (with my In­sta­gram) to say look at this woman, look at Anna Mag­nani, she’s a great beauty, and have girls see that and see more diver­sity and shapes and sizes and looks and know that these peo­ple are also ap­pre­ci­ated for what­ever they bring, not only their looks, but their tal­ent.

I SAW ON YOUR IN­STA­GRAM THAT YOU TWO HUNG OUT AT THIS PLACE, ORIG­I­NAL PINKIE MASTERS, DUR­ING THE SHOOT IN GE­OR­GIA.

Sevigny: That was I think the irst same-gen­der place in Sa­van­nah. And there’s an art school there so a lot of the art stu­dents and pro­fes­sors would be there. It was a nice gen­er­a­tion gap. They had a great juke­box with all this amaz­ing ob­scure mu­sic and it was just our lo­cal.

Ste­wart: It’s just a great place. Sevigny: Cool crowd. No­body both­ered her. They both­ered me more than her.

Ste­wart: Which means it’s a RE­ALLY cool place. Sevigny: It just means they’re older.

WHY DID YOU BOTH START OUT DI­RECT­ING SHORTS BE­FORE FEA­TURES?

Sevigny: I was frus­trated as an ac­tress, al­ways giv­ing my­self over to some­one else’s vi­sion. Not that I didn’t al­ways agree with their vi­sion or wanted to be part of it or thought they were great ilm­mak­ers, but still you’re not in the edit­ing room, it’s some­body else’s thing. I wanted to have my own thing and ex­press my own ideas and vi­sions and loves.

Ste­wart: Yeah same, I started so young, I’ve never felt more seen or ex­pressed or like al­lowed to re­ally be as when you’ve re­ally told a story well, one that got in­side you. I don’t draw a huge dis­tinc­tion be­tween act­ing and di­rect­ing. I think as an ac­tor I love the in­dul­gence, but I don’t want to say lack of con­trol be­cause I’m very con­trol­ling, I’m al­ways in the direc­tor’s back pocket like, “How is this be­ing seen?” I want to be able to it into your frame per­fectly. I want to know what it looks like.

Sevigny: I don’t. I be­come too self-aware.

Ste­wart: But I wanted to do a short be­fore a fea­ture be­cause I had never done it be­fore. Straightup. And I love what shorts do for peo­ple’s will­ing­ness to do weird things. You’re not try­ing to en­ter­tain peo­ple, not that that’s some­thing that I’m not into, I’m into that too, but it’s fun to do truly a free-verse poem.

Sevigny: More of an ex­pres­sion. Ste­wart: It doesn’t have to be an hour and-a-half, it doesn’t have to be di­gestible. It just has to have a taste.

Sevigny: Peo­ple are like why are you doing an­other short, why aren’t you doing a fea­ture? And I have such rev­er­ence for fea­ture film­mak­ers, I’m not pre­pared yet. I still am ex­per­i­ment­ing and learn­ing.

AND AS AC­TORS YOU BOTH ARE OF­TEN RE­BELLING AGAINST THE BIG BUSI­NESS OF HOL­LY­WOOD, CON­SIS­TENTLY CHOOS­ING IN­TER­EST­ING PROJECTS AND DI­REC­TORS TO WORK WITH.

Sevigny: It’s called taste. Ste­wart: And she strikes again! Dude! Hon­estly if I said that I would sound like such a tit, but be­cause it’s her, be­cause you gen­uinely ac­tu­ally have the pull, you can ac­tu­ally lift up that state­ment and (ex­ple­tive) hurl it.

Kris­ten Ste­wart, (left) and Chloe Sevigny.

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