The day after Chloë Sevigny graduated from high school, she ran away from home—kind of. “I brought my parents to Angelica Kitchen in the East Village,” she says. “I had written out a whole plan—I’d gotten a job and knew where I was going to live and how I was going to deal with it all.” A few months later, her friend Harmony Korine cast her, along with a bunch of other unknowns, in Kids.
I was a toddler when the film came out, but I stumbled upon it as a teen, right around the time I was experiencing my own rebellious moment. I had begun to withdraw from my more superficial peers and into a rabbit hole of indie culture. As a suburban kid who felt trapped by the stifling Top 40 culture surrounding me, I couldn’t quite relate to the film’s take on mid-’90s AIDS-scare New York, but Kids had a huge personal impact. I received its core message loud and clear: Be authentic, even if it’s not the most socially acceptable thing to do. Just a passing glance at Sevigny’s curriculum vitae proves that she subscribes to this credo as well. Her roles have never been pretty, from Boys Don’t Cry to #Horror, a disturbing new film inspired by cyberbullying produced, written, and directed by Tara Subkoff, in which Sevigny plays a negligent if well-intentioned mother whose disappearance leads to a string of murders. She’s also recently checked in to American Horror Story: Hotel—and for a lengthier stay than her guest spot on the show’s second season.
For two decades, Sevigny has occupied the artier corners of Hollywood and fashion (see her ever-provocative collections for Opening Ceremony), but in this share-everything era, she remains something of an enigma (she only recently joined Instagram at the suggestion of Rizzoli, which published her eponymous photo book last April). Therefore, we decided it was high time to find out just what makes this OG It Girl tick.
Click through the gallery to read our Life Advice interview with Chloë Sevigny, from our Dec/Jan 2015 issue.