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'Big Love' cast talks it up

February 28, 2009 | 12:09 pm

Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin discuss the series' philosophy and the challenge of understanding their characters.

"Big Love" has been blazing through its third season. Will Scheffer, who created the show with Mark V. Olsen, his partner in work and husband in life, said, "Everything that we hinted at, that we were building to, we said: 'Let's just do it -- let's go as far as we can this year and burn through it.' "

The results: Love has ebbed a bit for now, and we have been left with big. The polygamous Henricksons -- Bill ( Bill Paxton), Barb ( Jeanne Tripplehorn), Nicki (Chloë Sevigny) and Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin) -- have fought over birth control, the fleeting affections of a fourth wife and, most of all, the continuous and escalating tension between their sparkling suburban lives and the filthy Mormon fundamentalist compound that haunts them.

In an e-mail, Olsen wrote: "It's important, clearly, that our characters aren't singularly snarky or sour all the time, and there's got to be an underlying love and devotion between them, but the fact that I may love you, or whomever, is just not particularly interesting unless it's blended with the fact that you really piss me off too -- it's that combustion, negotiating that mix of feelings that I think keeps an audience coming back for more."

-- By Kate Aurthur

Read the full story here.

(Photo courtesy Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)