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the queen of cool

Photographs by Natalia Mantini

She’ll forever be the epitome of New York City cool, but Chloë Sevigny is having a stressful 2020. She talks to Lynette Nylander about giving birth for the first time at the height of Covid-19 and worrying about whether her fiancé will find her attractive now she’s not so driven

The day after the US presidential election and with a final verdict still some way off, uncertainty looms in the New York air. Joe Biden’s win will be announced a few days later, bringing with it an atmosphere of jubilation. But for now a usually bustling street in Soho is mostly boarded up, save for a few outdoor dining spots.

Waiting outside one of these, conspicuously dressed in a black jacket and shades, is Chloë Sevigny. And if from a distance she is a vision of slightly intimidating, nonchalant NYC cool, in reality she is — thankfully — sweet and affable, with the hearty chuckle of someone who doesn’t take herself half as seriously as the rest of the world does. She greets the Supreme skaters who sit at a nearby table just as warmly as the maître d’, is happy to trade tips for securing vintage finds and says she’s more likely to be binge watching The Criterion Collection than anything else these days.

‘Last time [in 2016] I was in Florida filming Bloodline, and I watched it with the ADs,’ she explains of her election-night experience, as we nestle into a two-top and an enthusiastic waitress, clearly a little starstruck, takes an order of a kale salad and eggs. ‘This time, there were just four of us. We were having Martinis and pizza and just watching the news. But then nothing happened.’

"So many women put into perspective how privileged I was. So I had to get myself in check and be like, “Right, I am gonna be okay!”"

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“I think because of my It girl persona, a lot is projected on to me from people in the industry and perhaps it gets in the way”

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With friend Natasha Lyonne

"I always struggle with having low self-esteem. I have struggled with my confidence"

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With Miuccia Prada

"People working all the time means that there’s like this pressure that I always have to be making something. Is it okay to not be right now?"

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With her Love & Friendship co-star Kate Beckinsale

"My biggest concern is I don’t want [my fiance] to not find me attractive because I’m not driven"

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With Chance the Rapper

A box set of ‘We Are Who We Are’ will be available on BBC Three via iPlayer from 22 Nov