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Feature: Primetime

Big Love

The cast

We talk to the cast and crew of the controversial new HBO series, which sets out to chronicle the ups and downs of polygamy…

At first glance Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) appears to be living a typical suburban life. But as this intriguing HBO series unfolds you discover his life is far from ordinary. He’s a polygamist, married to three wives – Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn), Nicki (Chloe Sevigny) and Margene (Ginnifer Goodman) – with seven children, a new business and three homes to maintain. Although his marital status might seem like a male fantasy, Bill Paxton is quick to refute that notion. “Bill Henrickson has got his hands full. It’s kind of the old proverb, beware of what you wish for, you just might get it. When I read the pilot for the series I was (impressed) by the quality of the writing. I’ve been a feature actor most of my career. I’ve never really done a series. But I had always fancied the chance to play a recurring role that I could grow in as an actor. And it’s been a great challenge to make this seem weirdly normal. He’s a guy struggling with his business and his family life, he just happens to have an unorthodox family with three wives. Personally, it would be much too hectic a life to live.”

For the actresses portraying his wives, the challenge was to justify why anyone would choose to share a man with two other women. “For the character I play, Margene, this lifestyle is the answer to a problem for her, not a problem in itself,” acknowledges Ginnifer Goodman. “This is the solution to a lifetime of being lost and unloved. So my character not only gets to marry Bill, but in getting to marry both Nicki and Barb, she inherits a family of love.”

by Judy Sloane

Read the full interview in
TV Zone #201

Photo © HBO
Feature © Visual Imagination 2006. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #201, see below for ordering options
TV Zone #201
May 2006
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