Chloë Sevigny isn’t giving away any of Jim Jarmusch’s secrets.
In his new zombie-filled movie The Dead Don’t Die, the director peppers one of her co-star’s lines with a meta-commentary about having read the script of “Jim's movie” and the Sturgill Simpson title song that keeps playing on the soundtrack. Having inside information about the plot, Adam Driver, as Officer Ronald Peterson, repeats this phrase every time his small town police force encounters a dead body, “Oh, man. This isn’t gonna end well.”
As the living and the undead start to bump into each other, the audience starts to trust Officer Peterson’s assessment of the situation. It’s the driest performance in a laconic movie that suits Jarmusch’s graphic novelistic approach to the subject. As such, it’s easy to imagine speech bubbles appearing right next to the characters’ heads.
Driver’s part of a trio of officers alongside Bill Murray as their chief Cliff Robertson (also the name of an Oscar-winning actor goes, but a name is all they share), and Sevigny as the increasingly unnerved Officer Minerva Morrison.
My first call to the actress went straight to her voicemail. At the beep, I hear, “If I'm going to die, I want to die in Manhattan.” On my second call, Sevigny confirms that the recording is Pete Campbell’s voice from season two of Mad Men.