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Chloë Sevigny
Chloë Sevigny in 1996Photography by Terry Richardson, courtesy of Rizzoli

Chloë Sevigny picks her favourite vampire films

Sink your teeth into the Kids actress’ best blood-sucking selections in her most-loved genre

Chloë Sevigny knows a thing or two about vampire movies. “It’s just my favourite genre,” she tells me. And from her wide-ranging selection below, no one would doubt she has an impressively nerdy understanding of the films in question. She points to everything from 1932’s arthouse oddity, Vampyr, to the fun 80s cheese of the mullet-heavy The Lost Boys. In the majority of these picks, she’s fascinated by the creepy characters and the seductive set design. She’s knocked out by the beauty of the glamorous costumes, the sexy allure of the darker characters, and – where 1983’s The Hunger is concerned – the genius of Susan Sarandon’s boobs. Here, in no particular order, she discusses her all-time favourites.


“It was probably the first vampire picture I ever saw, and there are just so many good things to say about this movie I don’t know where to begin. From Kiefer Sutherland to the music – that one iconic song, (starts singing) ‘Thou shall not kill’, and they’re on that bridge in Santa Cruz. I feel like, visually, it’s just like candy to me. The boys are so beautiful, and the comedy between the Coreys… When I was growing up I had pictures of Corey Feldman and Corey Haim on my wall. So there was the accessibility to the young boys and their comedy and then the sexiness of the older boys and their darkness. I think there’s such a great balance of that in the movie. And Dianne Wiest as the mum, she’s one of the greatest actresses of all time. And they go to that strange cave where they all live and it’s just the best.”


“I loved seeing that girl. I thought she was so beautiful in the burka, on the skateboard. And that it was directed by a woman – I’m all for female directors; there’s a disadvantage in the business and I think that girl (Ana Lily Amirpour) came straight out the gate with such a strong visual sense. And with that great poster and just the whole package, the music and the simplicity, it was so beautiful. It felt like a real throwback to Jim Jarmusch. I thought there were so many cool things about that movie: that it was foreign language, and it’s just so rare to see an Iranian cool thing, like with the music, and just having a view into that region of the world that doesn’t get much exposure.”


“Susan Sarandon’s boobs in this movie are genius. The opening credits sequence with Bauhaus, and Peter Murphy actually appearing in the movie behind the cage, singing ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’. Just the elegance and grace of this one, as far as vampire pictures go. Everybody always says, ‘Oh, those outfits are so great,’ but I do think Susan’s outfits are really good and her hair and her corsets, and the ageing make-up on Bowie when he’s sitting in the doctor’s office and he ages a hundred hours or whatever it is. It all looks so real, and the lighting is so perfect and those beautiful 80s rays of light. To me, it’s the most glamorous of the vampire pictures.”


“Herzog’s Nosferatu, with Isabelle Adjani – I just like the idea of that exercise: for him to want to remake Murnau’s film (from 1922). And obviously Klaus Kinski as Count Dracula is just really creepy. To me it’s almost a perfect movie.”

NEAR DARK (1987)

Near Dark by Kathryn Bigelow, another female director. There’s a sequence when they’re going to a bar and they’re dancing to, I think, The Cramps (starts singing) ‘You give me fever’ and there’s a little boy vampire, who is to die for, and he has this cool T-shirt with Jimi Hendrix on… or, no, it’s maybe William Burroughs. Anyway, it’s a great graphic. And there’s that beautiful girl who stars in it, Jenny Wright, who was in Pink Floyd – The Wall, playing the groupie. She’s one of the most beautiful actresses of the 80s, this blond girl; she was married to Nicolas Cage for a minute and she’s super hot and super sexy. It’s just a strange vampire movie.”

DRACULA (1992)

“It’s a classic. I like how true to the book Coppola is, because the book is one of my favourite books. I first read it in high school and I’ve read it a few times. And what’s-her-name with the white collar in the coffin, Sadie Frost. There’s just so much about this movie that I like, mostly because of how true to the book he was. Keanu Reeves gets a lot of slack for his accent in the film. Him and Winona, both their accents are questionable but I don’t mind! I mean, I absolutely love Keanu but maybe it’s my generation, you know. And I think Gary (Oldman) makes up for it. He’s so good in it, he makes up for everyone else who’s lacking.”


“It’s a movie about making a movie about a vampire, which I love. Movies about making movies are such special things to me. It’s another genre that I really love. Willem Dafoe plays the vampire and he’s so great, so creepy. I feel like it’s very much a nod to Klaus Kinski in Herzog’s Nosferatu.”


“You gotta go for a poppy one, you know. I mean, Pitt and Cruise and young Kirsten Dunst. I think the costumes are great in this and the boys are romantic. And Anne Rice has made legions of vampire fans through her books. She’s definitely owed a nod.”


The Addiction by Abel Ferrara, with Lili Taylor, just captures New York in the 90s so well and it’s so simple, and it’s like one of those movies you can watch and be like, ‘Oh, I can make a movie too’. The cast is great and I love Lili, and I wish she could star in more movies. She looks so beautiful in that. It’s just such a time capsule of New York at that time.”


Let the Right One In is the Swedish vampire movie that came out a few years ago. (Tomas Alfredson) is just such a talented director, you know, he did Tinker Tailor. And I just love the story, which focuses on the two children and her just being this weird angel/vampire/demon thing, which is kind of more ambiguous. Then there’s her sexuality, the production design, the simplicity, the cinematography; I think it’s one of the best vampire films that’s come out in the past 10 years – and so entertaining. I think it could have done without the cat combustion scene. It probably would’ve benefited from cutting that out. And I saw the remake and it was not so great.”