"I was wondering when did this whole chavvy thing take over," Chloe Sevigny enquires, with eyebrows raised.
The Oscar-nominated actress is obviously still getting over her culture shock on finding herself thousands of miles away from her It-Girl, and instead dealing with life in a northern town, on location for Hit and Miss.
Chloe Sevigny is an Irish, transgender assassin in Hit and Miss
"It just seems to permeate everywhere you look... there's girls with the eyelashes, fake hair, the tans, they're so plastic, it's really insane, how they put themselves together. I was playing a transgender person, but I wore less makeup than they did... not to be judgemental about it, but it was crazy to walk around Leeds, Manchester, Blackpool."
Normally, a self-contained, PR-conscious Hollywood actor would stop at this point, but Sevigny's got plenty more to say...
"And everyone's so obsessed with accents. At work, people would talk about each other's accents at least 20 times a day, at least... Essex this person, Jordie that person, there was this whole big thing about who's authentic from some town, and it's only 45 minutes away."
So how did this New York cool cat end up sticking out like a sore thumb on the dark moors of Northern England, giving it her all in surely one of the more unusual characters to grace the small screen. It seems she got a call:
"'You're going to be transgender. Oh, and you're going to be an assassin.'
"But they told me not to judge.
"Somehow, the creators thought of me!"
She sounds surprised, of her getting such a role. "I think of myself as looking quite masculine - I don't know if it was the looks or... "
Sevigny in action
Of course, Sevigny has form with this kind of offbeat, challenging fare - Oscar-nominated for her role in Boys Don't Cry, which saw her play girlfriend to Hilary Swank's androgynous role. What's more confusing why she chose this far-from-home gig?
"Well, my agents did some investigating and Paul Abbot (exec producer) is a stamp of quality in this country.
"And what a great part it was - this incredible, insane journey that this woman goes through, how complicated it was, you feel for her but you hate her. It was really rich, the biggest role I've had in my career, a great opportunity."
Tarring everybody with the same brush comes something of a surprise from Sevigny, who has herself been a victim of stereotyping in the past.
"In the 90s, early 2000s, I was doing lots of independent films, there was an abundance then, but the market is really shrinking.
"There are these big studio movies, with two or three girls who get in every single one of them, and I've never been on that list. So I've got to take the work where I can get it, and make a living."
Surely an Oscar nomination helps?
"There's a bunch of other girls have that as well. I don't think that means anything, what means something is how much money you can make for them."
Sevigny with Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry
If all this makes Sevigny sound miserable, the opposite is true. She's just spunky, and very happy calling a spade a spade, is quick to mention how friendly everyone in the north was, despite the fact she felt "just misunderstood". No wonder she caught the eye of equally quirky Abbott. So what did she think of him?
Cue more revelations of the type to make a publicist blush.
"He never came to the set, but I heard he was really charming and amazing," she confides.
"I'm sure I would love him, he sounds really eccentric and I love eccentrics."
Finally, dare I ask, is she up for a second series of the show which divided critics but always kept them interested.
Small silence. "They haven't asked me yet. But sure... if it's filmed around London."
Hit and Miss is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and digitally. Chloe Sevigny below discusses the transgender issues the series raised for her...
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