With a boost from Chastain’s newfound clout, Benson got enough money to shoot both movies on a tight 40-day schedule, filming scenes from one character’s perspective and then the other’s. It presented a daunting acting challenge: In one version of the story Chastain was playing her character, but in the other she was playing the McAvoy character’s impression of her, which meant that crucial details—dialogue, movement, even clothing—were different.
“It’s super-weird,” Chastain said. “I approached it like it was two different women. They’re both Eleanor, but they’re two different women. Her is ‘This is Eleanor, this is my truth, this is everything I have.’ And Him is Connor’s perception of Eleanor, which is very different.” (The Them version playing at Cannes mixes both perspectives to focus on the relationship.)
(…) “It’s a broader experience, and it gives the audience more choice,” said Benson. “But I do want to emphasize that the original two films exist exactly as they are.”