In late November, while she was on a brief break from promoting her film Interstellar, Chastain phoned Dolan at his home in Montreal to talk about growing up among women, the intoxicating power of James Cameron, and Mommy, Canada’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
JESSICA CHASTAIN: Hi, sweetheart! This is the first time I’ve ever been on this side of an interview. The first time we properly met was in New York, but I saw Mommy at the Cannes Film Festival this year and I was so blown away. I tweeted, not even really expecting anything, how much I loved the film, and then you and I had a very funny exchange.
XAVIER DOLAN: Should we have a recollection of that?
CHASTAIN: I think people should know how charming you are. I think we should tell them, first of all, that you’re my beard. Is that correct?
DOLAN: [laughs] There’s an awards season coming, and if I’m a part of it, I’m going to need a beard!
CHASTAIN: If you ask me, I am there for you, babe, 100 percent, but you have to take me to dinner first. Do you remember the video you sent me?
DOLAN: Celine Dion—is that it? I first sent you “Take You” by Justin Bieber, and then I deleted it because I was ashamed. How provincial of me, to send you our national treasure. Justin Bieber, Celine Dion—generations of Canadian national gems.