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SXSW: Chloe Sevigny out of her comfort zone in ‘Barry Munday’


“I still don’t think I’m that comedic in this film,” Chloe Sevigny said with a laugh.

That’s not exactly what you want to hear from the star of a comedy. But Sevigny, in all honesty, might be the sixth or seventh funniest person in the all-star “Barry Munday” ensemble, which includes Judy Greer, Cybil Shepherd, Patrick Wilson, Malcolm McDowell, Missi Pyle, Colin Hanks, Christopher MacDonald, Kyle Gass, Jean Smart and Lando Calrissian himself, Mr. Billy Dee Williams.

And she’d be the first to admit that.

“It was very challenging and very intimidating, especially because (co-stars Wilson and Greer) were so funny,” said Sevigny, an Oscar nominee and recent Golden Globe winner for her role on HBO’s “Big Love.”

“I’ve been playing this character, Nicolette, on (‘Big Love‘) for so long that I’m so comfortable there. I hadn’t been doing a lot of films because of the schedule with HBO that then when I work on a film like ‘Barry Munday,’ I am just terrified to be out of my comfort zone. I’m just, like, so scared!”

She overcame her fear to play Jennifer, the beautiful and flirtatious sister of Greer’s homely character, Ginger, in Chris D’Arienzo’s comedy.

“For me, Ginger’s sister, Jennifer, needed to be the coolest person. And I was like, ‘Well, who is the coolest person?’ It’s Chloe,” said D’Arienzo.

But Sevigny was hesitant, even though she adored D’Arienzo’s screenplay about a woefully injured man (Wilson) who can’t remember impregnating a geeky woman (Greer).

“I have never been in a kind of straight up comedy before,” Sevigny said. “But it’s something that I have been attracted to and have wanted to do for a long time, but haven’t had that many opportunities presented to me. When this one came around, I just jumped at the opportunity.”

The opportunity to work with Judy Greer also lured Sevigny to “Munday.”

“I’d been a huge fan of (hers) since ‘Jawbreaker,’ so I wanted to jump at the chance to work with her,” Sevigny said. “I think she should star in every movie.”

“But that was the thing for the comedy in this film,” said D’Arienzo. “What I was hoping was to get people like Chloe or Patrick who you don’t know of as comedians. But that’s what was fun about it. It was important to me that the jokes were a surprise. That you didn’t see anything coming. There are a lot of wonderful comedic actors that probably would have had a lot of fun. But to me, what was fun for the audience … was this sense of discovery, with people who are really genuinely funny … that just have done dramatic roles.”

“Barry Munday,” which is still seeking distribution, had its World Premiere at the 2010 South By Southwest Film Festival.

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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  • March 14, 2010 | Permalink |

    I like that you think. Thank you for share very much.

  • March 15, 2010 | Permalink |

    it’s great to see her do something comedic, since she usually is always in the dramas

  • October 24, 2010 | Permalink |

    I like your website. Thank you for great information. I will come back to your website again.

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