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SEVIGNY IS READY TO STEP BACK FROM THE EDGE

The Woody Allen movie "Melinda and Melinda" is about a woman perceived by others in completely different ways.

It's a trick that actress Chloe Sevigny, who co-stars in the film, is trying to pull off in real life.

Last year she was in the high-toned Lars von Trier drama "Dogville," starring Nicole Kidman as a woman abused by an entire town. Shortly after came "The Brown Bunny," the unrated film in which Sevigny -- appearing as director-star Vincent Gallo's long-lost love -- performed a notorious sex act that got tongues wagging, Internet sites buzzing and even graced a billboard in Los Angeles for two days.

But at 30, Sevigny is mellow about it all. After a decade as the poster child for edgy movies, the party girl from Darien, Conn., has let it be known she wants to go mainstream.

Way mainstream.

"I'd love to be in 'Spider-Man 3!' " Sevigny says. "There's a villain in it who's a blond, buxom girl, and I'm trying to get it!

"That (may) surprise people, since actors are always thought of as their last film or who they were. I think I'll always be drawn to films more difficult to watch, but I don't want to be a snobby cinephile."

It may not be so tough for Sevigny to go a different way, says New York casting director Barry Moss. "I don't think 'Brown Bunny' will be a detriment for her," says Moss. "If you're casting her as Joan of Arc, then it might be a problem. But people who are intrigued by her will want to see her next project. . . . Plus, it shows that she's fearless."

Sevigny says the refined Manhattan wife she plays in "Melinda" "isn't one of the parts that I think of as my 'warning girls' -- as in, 'Be careful, don't let this happen to you.' "

And she has a gallery of warning girls:

"Kids" (1995)

Character: Jennie, a wayward good girl who tests positive for HIV after sleeping with a teenage Lothario.

"It was my first film, and it was very controversial when it came out. People pegged me as this sort of street urchin. But I always thought of my character as maybe an upper East Side girl. I think the movie is responsible for a resurrection in coming-of-age films, my favorite genre."

"Trees Lounge" (1996)

Character: Debbie, a teenager who gets involved with a middle-aged loser (Steve Buscemi).

"After 'Kids' came out, I was still working at this clothing store on Lafayette Street (in Manhattan), and I turned down some small roles. But I felt like I knew Debbie, this bored girl living in suburbia, trying to get into bars and wanting to get to the city."

"The Last Days of Disco" (1998)

Character: Alice, an Ivy Leaguer who mourns the death of her favorite Manhattan dance spots and her fab way of life.

"It was a more high-profile movie for me. I love how it captured this WASP-y, preppy world that in the '80s was dying out."

"Boys Don't Cry" (1999)

Character: Lana Tisdel, a real-life Nebraska teen who fell in love with Brandon Teena (Hilary Swank), a girl passing as a boy who was murdered in 1993. Sevigny was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

"Playing a real person was hard, since so many people were affected by that tragedy. I think Hilary could have had more swagger, and played Brandon as a bad boy instead of gawky. I thought the sex in the movie was important, but then, I'm pretty easily swayed, unfortunately! But I just hate when girls have sex with their bras on in movies. Nobody does that!"

"American Psycho" (2000)

Character: Jean, the secretary of Wall Street broker -- and neat-freak killing machine -- Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale).

The director, Mary Harron, "shot scenes that were racier so she'd have something to cut out when the ratings board saw it."

"Party Monster" (2003)

Character: Gitsie, gal pal of club kid Michael Alig (Macaulay Culkin), who embodied the dark side of '90s Manhattan nightlife.

"I did it because I love New York so much, and I knew the people involved. When I moved here I was going to the Limelight and the Tunnel and Club USA, but they didn't like me because I was part of the rave set. I wanted to help tell the story of New York club history."

"The Brown Bunny" (2004)

Character: Daisy, former love of a drifter played by the film's writer-director, Vincent Gallo.

"I really believed in Vincent as a filmmaker. I've known him since I was 17 and he was 29. I dated him when I was a teenager, and I trusted him. It's unfortunate that it came out in such a conservative era.

"I was uncomfortable filming (the sex scene), but I don't want to talk about it too much. You know, I put myself out there; I took a risk.

"I think there are lots of actresses who do risky things -- maybe not as racy or graphic as 'Brown Bunny,' but I have my own path. We'll see where it leads me."

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