Five years after actor Chloe Sevigny dumped scorn on her hometown of Darien, she and a writer from “T” magazine, the New York Times fashion newspaper supplement, paid a visit to the town talk about her childhood. This time the criticism is vaguer and less harsh.
The (fawning) article includes several pictures of various Darien landmarks, sometimes with Sevigny in the picture: Weed Beach, Middlesex Middle School, Puritan Stationery, Post Corner Pizza.
She also was hanging out in New Canaan during those years, so there are pictures of her at a Mobil gas station and Waveny mansion, too.
In this story there isn’t a quote blasting the town equivalent to some of the quotes she gave in an interview with the British newspaper, The Independent, in May 2012.
That article reported Sevigny saying she wouldn’t raise a child in this town:
“Teenage Sevigny would regularly berate her parents for living amid such homogenized exclusivity. ‘I know they worked really long hours to live there, but I don’t think I’d subject my children to that kind of upbringing,’ she says. ‘I don’t think they realized the snobbery that happened in the school and how kids without as much money would be picked on. I was picked on… not that we were a poor house.'”
Similar criticism is there in the latest article, dated Feb. 10, but it’s less brash:
“’It’s kind of a bubble,’ Sevigny says dryly,” referring to Darien. A little later, the writer asks her if “there was an awareness of class differences among her peers,” and Sevigny responds: “Yes, because they made you very well aware of it,” she says. “There was lots of teasing. Like, my parents drove a Honda, and that was nailed home a lot.”
The actor, now 42, also said she’s always gone back to her high school reunions, visits Post Corner Pizza when she stops in town to visit her mom, and seemed to have some fond memories of some things in town — like sneaking out to Weed Beach Park “where all the kids who’d climbed out their windows at night would make out and experiment with homemade bongs.”
Sevigny said she always wanted to be an actress, yet she “tried theater, but it wasn’t her thing” — instead she quit the softball team to spend more time with a boyfriend and smoking marijuana. At another point the article mentions that she did go to a summer theater camp, acted in commercials and modeled in catalogs.
She started visiting Manhattan with her father and eventually by herself and was discovered by a magazine editor. Then a friend got her a part in a music video, and after that she was cast in a film. The author Jay McInerney wrote a piece on her for the New Yorker in 1994 in which he called her “the coolest girl in the world.”
She went on to act in movies (often independent and experimental ones) and on television, which got her a Golden Globe award; Sevigny has also directed and been a fashion designer and model.
The writer, Amanda Fortini, also says at one point in the article what she implies at other points:
“Even if you rebel against a place, as Sevigny eventually did, you are arguably still influenced by it.”
SIDEBAR: Celebrities from Darien: One Degree of Separation from Moby
When it comes to Darien, Kevin Bacon (with his six degrees of separation from nearly everyone in Hollywood) has nothing on Moby, who knew some before they were famous (a lot of teachers in Darien could probably say the same thing):
- Moby gave rides to future actress Chloe Sevigny when she was a teenager.
- Chloe Sevigny was a baby sitter for future actor Topher Grace in Darien. (“She was a cool babysitter.”)
- Topher Grace chaperoned a field trip from Darien that future actress Kate Bosworth was on in the sixth grade.
One Degree, Really??
Moby claims Robert Downey Jr. was a resident of Darien when Downey was growing up, and apparently this is where the two met. Believe it if you want to, but we can’t find confirmation of that anywhere else. In his autobiography, Moby writes that Downey and his family stayed at the old Holiday Inn (at 50 Ledge Road, where Atria Darien is today) when the Downeys were moving out of town, and that Downey was Moby’s best friend in the third grade (when Moby was at Royle School).
Regarding Darien and famous people, Moby says with some justification:
It also, per capita, has created more weird public figures that any other place in the world.
(This sidebar was added at 10:30 p.m.)
Correction: The Holiday Inn that used to be in Darien was at 50 Ledge Road, where Atria Darien is today. The hotel was not, as stated in a previous version of this article, at 150 Ledge Road, where Whole Foods Market and its western parking lot is today. That was where the Howard Johnson Motel was located. We mixed up our defunct Darien hotels.