10 Facts About ‘Big Love’

Like the mysterious polygamous marriages represented on the HBO series, there was a lot to discover when digging up 10 Facts about “Big Love.”

  1. The “Big Love” family is not Mormon. The series’ fictional polygamist group the “United Effort Brotherhood” tops the list of ten facts about “Big Love.” The show’s “UFB” has similarities to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints own "United Effort Plan.” But HBO and the show’s producers were clear to point out that their characters were not Mormons or members of the Church of Latter Day Saints.
  2. Tom Hanks was allegedly a Mormon. Surprisingly, Hollywood heavy hitter Tom Hanks makes the list of ten facts about “Big Love.” The movie star, who is also the show’s executive producer, was allegedly a member of the Mormon church for two years when he was a kid. His mother seemed to experiment with religion and left her Protestant roots to briefly study Mormonism. Since marrying actress Rita Wilson, Hanks became a member of the Greek Orthodox Church.
  3. Bill Paxton’s had multiple marriages. Bill Henrickson might have three wives (and one ex) on the show but in real life actor Bill Paxton has only been married twice–and not at the same time. He was only hitched to his first wife Kelly Rowan from 1979-1980. But the second union seems to have stuck. He’s been legally bound to Louise Newbury since 1987.
  4. Chloë Sevigny’s press misstep. Actress Chloë Sevigny’s recent misstep with the press makes the list of facts about “Big Love.” While at the South by Southwest Festival last month, Sevigny allegedly said the last season of her series was “awful.” She later said her words were taken out of context. But the reporter who quoted her posted the audio clip of her statement on his website for fans to decide for themselves.
  5. Shooting California for Utah. Some people might be surprised to learn this fact about “Big Love” considering the show is so Utah-centric. But the houses that Bill share with this wives and kids are in Fillmore, California, the interiors are shot at the Santa Clarita Studios in Valencia, and Henrickson’s Home Plus store is the All American Home Center in Downey, California.
  6. Ginnifer was Jennifer. Ginnifer Goodwin who plays third wife Margene Heffman, was actually born Jennifer. But since her Memphis based family pronounced it “Ginnifer” she decided to change the spelling.
  7. One Golden Globe win. In 2010, Chloe Sevigny nabbed the only Golden Globe award the show has received for Best Performance by an Actress in a Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. The show and Bill Paxton were also nominated but lost to "Mad Men" and Michael C. Hall respectively. 
  8. Even the supporting actors are stars. Zeljko Ivanek may not be the first name that pops to mind when fans think about the show, but this decorated actor deserves to be on the list of ten facts about “Big Love.” Zeljiko, who plays JJ, started his career in theater and has received three Tony Award nominations. He won the 1982 Drama Desk Award for Featured Actor in a Play for “Cloud Nine.” And he has two more Drama Desk nods. The honors didn’t stop after he moved to TV. He took home the 2008 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for the role of Ray Fiske on“Damages.”
  9. Harry Dean Stanton was a TV cowboy. Harry Dean Stanton, aka Roman Grant, is best known for his work in movies like “Cool Hand Luke” and “Escape from New York.” But a lot of his early career was spent on the small screen on Westerns like “Gunsmoke” and detective shows like “The Untouchables”–a little remembered entry on the list of ten facts about “Big Love.”
  10. A nod to the 'Yearning for Zion Ranch' scandal. Real life polygamists are part of the list of ten facts about “Big Love.” While the series was in production on its third season, a real life polygamist story was hitting the headlines. The show’s Executive Producer’s felt they needed to address the raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch outside of Eldorado, Texas, so they referenced a similar situation on a fictitious compound in Kansas.
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