How Chloë Sevigny Adjusted to Playing a Mom on Russian Doll Right After Giving Birth

Chloë Sevigny welcomed a son just months before filming the second season of Netflix's Russian Doll. In an exclusive chat with E! News, she shared how the show's themes influenced her own life.

By Daniel Trainor Apr 25, 2022 1:00 PMTags
Watch: Netflix's Russian Doll: How Chloe Sevigny's Pregnancy Influenced Plot

Talk about life imitating art. 

In the time-bending second season of Netflix's Russian Doll, Chloë Sevigny plays Lenora, the mother of Natasha Lyonne's character Nadia. When Nadia finds a subway portal that allows her to travel back in time, she realizes she's trapped in her mother's body while her mother is pregnant with her. 

It's a season of television that dives deep into themes of motherhood, childhood innocence and reckoning with the missteps of our parents. For Chloë, it couldn't have come at a more impactful time. Chloë gave birth to her first child, son Vanja, in May 2020. 

"I became a mother right before we shot the second season," Chloë told E! News. "I was thinking a lot about being a mother, about how I rear my child and the stories I tell him of his forefathers. How do I usher this young man through the world to be a good, strong, sensitive, upstanding individual?"

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Jumping back into work right after giving birth wasn't an easy decision, but Chloë couldn't say no to more Russian Doll.

"This was my first project going back," she said. "I was like ‘This is setting the bar pretty high.' If I'm going to be away from my baby to work, it better be this good!"

While the characters on the show were bending space and time, the second season involved a bit of nostalgic time jumping for Chloë, as well. Just months after giving birth in real life, she had to wear a prosthetic baby bump throughout filming.

"At first it was silicone, so it was very heavy," Chloë told E!. "Then they made a new one out of foam and it was quite light. I would just rest my hands on it. The sense memory came back."

Vanessa Clifton/Netflix

In fact, Chloë leaned so far into the themes of the season that, months before filming started, she was already thinking about Lenora while in the delivery room herself! 

"I do remember being like ‘I wish we had filmed the delivery,'" Chloë said. "In the moment, it was very painful and very dramatic, but I was like ‘Should we do video for Natasha?'"

While the real-life birth footage didn't make it to the show, the intersection of fictional and actual motherhood allows Chloë's performance to be the heart and soul of Russian Doll's second season.

All episodes of Russian Doll are available to stream now on Netflix. 

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