The Great Unknown

This article was written at Sueddeutsche Zeitung Magazine by Andrew Gumbel and translated by us.

The great unknown longingly waits for the film world in a new Meryl Streep. We have found it: Jessica Chastain. Although the woman was still barely visible in the cinema, she is already celebrated by all of Hollywood. And rightly so.

Do you know Jessica Chastain? No? And yet her name in Hollywood is currently trading incredibly high. That it is still almost unknown to itself, is a quirk of fate, it was hailed by critics even as a movie star, yes, as the greatest actress of her generation, before the audience had even a single movie with her to see. Even in America they had not yet seen the movies, when asked in interviews already, what will she do when she is too old even to play leading roles.

An entire industry – from producer to director – Jessica Chastain tearing around while the audience did not even know her name.

How could this happen? Well, so much happiness she has at the moment, so much bad luck they had in the past few years, it came to their films: Wherever she appeared, there were any delays after the shooting, so the films were not ready. It often happens that a movie until three years after the shooting in the movie theaters is because the post-production takes so long because there are problems with the rental or knows what God has given. But that – as with Jessica Chastain – had the same nine films such problems, which we may call it unusual. Especially if it this is the first of nine films a career, her life work.

Jessica Chastain, 30, so it can continue to run unnoticed in the streets, and on her Facebook wall post friends and family encouraging comments, to which it responds very well behaved so far – as it would be a long-time student schauspielernde. She was with Al Pacino, Helen Mirren, Ralph Fiennes, Brad Pitt and Sean Penn filmed, she is with them, walking on red carpets. Only recently, at the film festival in Venice, Pacino called her “a young genius.” And when Pacino says something, he means the so-he is too old and successful, to flatter anyone, even if it’s such a pretty woman like Jessica Chastain:

With her big eyes, high cheekbones and long red hair, take the Californian beach babe Jessica Chastain as well as the classic screen beauty from a bygone era. It can be chilly and distant, blazing passion, she is a party girl as convincing as a girl locked. She has learned her craft at the Juilliard School in New York and then on the same stage as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and as Desdemona in Othello. Then came the nine films and reviews like this one: “one of the hottest performances of the actors of the year.”

Since the summer of their films are now finally in theaters, an orchestrated by one, like. In the summer, ran The Tree of Life, and as a grieving mother Chastain was the shining light of the film which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Take Shelter was also shown at Cannes, in which she plays a wife whose husband loses it because he knows the only one of an impending apocalyptic storm. The film, already acclaimed at the Sundance Festival in 2011, was awarded the prize of the Cannes International Film Critics. In March, he comes in the German cinemas.
In The Debt, which has gone straight into the German cinemas, plays Chastain a young Mossad agent, and in December launched The Help, with Chastain in a supporting role. In the Shakespeare play Coriolanus, announced for February 2012, she played with Ralph Fiennes, the main role, as in Al Pacino’s half document Wilde’s Salomé, which in Germany as three more of their movies still no star date.

When they meet, Jessica Chastain talks with the ardor of a novice actor of their work, as he was later found not in the stars. It has a sound, it is not yet in the clutches of lawyers and paparazzi: “It’s not me to glory, it’s not my money,” she says in conversation and smiles disarmingly: “I’m all about: Who will I work and what I can learn from this? “She speaks so of each film, as she was entitled to attend a master class from every scene as if it had been an adventure, from any role as an” occasion, myself and the various facets try the craft. ”

For all that she’s afraid, in record time from the new hot thing to be on her own past, that had happened between them without ever a serious career. “I’m just worried,” she says, “that I’m the new girl, from where there is fast enough, without having noticed her name correctly. People ask themselves: Why do we see the girls now in every damn movie? And then they have quickly tired of the girl. ”

One of the hardest exercises for Hollywood actor is to consider both the general public as well as the critical cineastes on their side. Now must turn out, whether it has a very special touch, “the” It Factor. But if she keeps on doing what it promises, it could be the next, eagerly awaited Meryl Streep.

The director Terrence Malick, notorious for his perfectionism and idolized fell, her right away: When casting for The Tree of Life Chastain should keep the first thing a long monologue in which the pain of the mother over the death of his son put it. Then they should carry the same content, without saying a word. The drama student in their loved this challenge and play as Malick saw them, he was thrilled and immediately began to work on their appearance: He asked them to look at the Metropolitan Museum in New York paintings of the Virgin Mary, and so at every opportunity, many movies with Lauren Bacall as possible. Chastain was to see how women spoke slowly and deliberately in an era that was more leisurely than ours.

This was followed by Take Shelter, a film that was shot under very different conditions than The Tree of Life: small-scale production, tiny budget, a few days of shooting, every scene had to sit immediately. The pressure on the lead actor was extremely high. Jessica Chastain was held.

In all the work on nine films followed: nothing. Resting. No movie starts. No new offer. That was the moment in which she was really worried.

End of September, the redemption: the trade publication Variety reported, Jessica Chastain was selected from a Topriege young, hot actresses, playing alongside Tom Cruise in Horizons. That was it well with the tip.

Luciana

Waiting for the day I can ‘professional fangirl’ for a living.