The indie star talks being mean and going green…
What’s the first thing you do when you arrive on set?
I’m usually really bitchy. I think it’s better to start off mean and then turn nice, so I usually come with an attitude. I like to be challenging. I like the PAs to know that I’m not going to stand for a certain kind of fuckery.
What do you take on set with you?
I have my own teacup, strainer and loose leaf teas. I don’t like anyone else to get me food or drinks; I have to get it myself. If they get it wrong, I’m gonna have a mini obnoxious actress spiral.
Any on-set superstitions?
I do have OCD around my scripts. I always highlight everything in the same way, in yellow, and I always make my notes in a black pen. I also like to learn my lines by writing it all out in longhand, four times. I only feel safe if I have my highlighter. Now I sound like a real psychopath!
Do you ever sleep on set?
Oh God, I wish. I can’t nap, and I don’t know how to sleep at night either! On Big Love our hours were nuts and I had to drive so far to get home from the set, so I used to have the medic give me oxygen. Which is very ’90s.
Hot or cold lunch?
I go for the metal utensils. And a real plate. And one napkin. I’m trying to go vegan – because I feel like that’s the most we can do to have an environmental impact – so it’s usually carbs, even though I’m an actress so I’m not supposed to eat that stuff. There’s so much waste around catering. We had a green set on Portlandia, and they were composting all the leftovers, so it can be done if the producers can be bothered to not cut corners.
Best on-set experience?
It was probably on Kitty, when I directed for the first time. Just the moment when I walked out on set on that first day, collating all the things that I’d watched other directors do over the years. It was so euphoric. It was the be all and end all for me.
Have you ever stolen from a film set?
I have the bunny ears from Gummo, but I made those, so they were mine anyway. I also have the t-shirt that I wore in Kids, which was mine too. I feel like those two things are pretty epic pieces of film history for me.
Best ever wrap party?
We had a really epic party on Big Love. We’d all been working together for years and we found ourselves on location, away from our boyfriends and wives, in some crappy Mexican restaurant. And we just went off. It was tequila madness.
What was it like spending weeks filming in the same house for
Lizzie? It was great because Kristen [Stewart] and I really got on, but it was a really hard shoot. The location had a weird, otherworldly feel to it. It felt very haunted. That house became our home. I’ve never been on screen so much before and I remember crying to Kristen at the end because I didn’t want the camera looking at me anymore. I was just ready to be myself again! PB
‘I thInk It’s better to start off mean and then turn nIce, so I usually come wIth an attItude’
sevigny with kristen stewart in Lizzie.