For the past four seasons, Chloe Sevigny has played Nicolette “Nicki” Grant on the HBO series Big Love. Nicki is the second of polygamist Bill Henrickson’s three wives — a modest woman suspicious of the outside world, while keeping several secrets of her own. Sevigny tells Terry Gross that she prepared for the role by immersing herself in the polygamist culture of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — a polygamous offshoot of the Mormon church, or LDS. “I read as much literature as I could find … just trying to wrap my head around that world and where these people are coming from and their beliefs,” Sevigny says. “I just wanted to respect the character with respect for her and her beliefs.” Sevigny began her professional acting career playing a New York City teenager infected with AIDS in the 1995 film Kids. After that role, Sevigny starred in The Last Days of Disco, where she played a book editor immersed in the New York City club scene; and Boys Don’t Cry, where she played a woman falling in love with a transgendered man. Sevigny was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her role in Boys Don’t Cry, which Rolling Stone called “a performance that burns into the memory.”
The New York Times has announced that next year it will start charging online users of its website. Readers will be allowed to view a few articles free each month but will be charged for full access. But will people pay for news online when so many sites give it away for free? And if not, how can newspapers and journalists survive in a world of free content? This hour, former newspaper editor ALAN MUTTER and CUNY journalism professor JEFF JARVIS discuss paying for content online and the future of the newspapers.
In their new book, “Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things,” Canadian environmentalists RICK SMITH and BRUCE LOURIE write that “we’re all marinating in chemicals every day.” Smith and Lourie spent a week exposing themselves to the common household chemicals found in furniture, shampoos, paint, electronics, cookware, and canned foods. They slathered themselves with shaving gels, ate from microwaved plastic containers, cooked in Teflon pans, plugged in air fresheners, and slept on flame-retardant laced furniture — then they tested their blood for levels of chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA), mercury and phthalates. This hour, Lourie and Smith discuss their findings and the health risks posed by everyday products.
On paper, Annie Clark’s output under the St. Vincent moniker often sounds as if it should topple into chaos mid-song: Airy flute melodies and pristine vocal harmonies crash headlong into snarling, distorted electric guitars, crashing drums and stabbing horn parts. Thankfully, her work sounds better on record than on paper: Her ability to successfully juxtapose seemingly disparate elements has gained her a seemingly endless parade of critical adulation for her latest album, 2009’s Actor. Clark swings, seemingly effortlessly, from overdriven, madcap riffs to gorgeous, blissful passages driven by strings and woodwind. Since the release of Actor, Clark has been touring incessantly, making appearances on late-night television and collaborating with the likes of David Byrne and Bon Iver‘s Justin Vernon. With almost a year’s worth of touring under their belts, Clark and the players who make up the touring incarnation of St. Vincent sound tighter and more confident than ever in this World Cafe session.