05.15.15

Jessica Chastain is Lucille Sharpe

Lucille is Thomas’ older sister. “I see her as someone who actually has suffered a lot.” Chastain noted the scars on her face and back and further explained, “She had a very difficult life that she’s come from and so all she’s trying to do is preserve her happiness, because she’s a woman who’s had little happiness in her life.”

del Toro gave his cast extremely thorough character biographies and Chastain opted to share a few details from hers. She read, “‘Positives: Loyal, determined, intelligent, meticulous, decisive, observant, eloquent, artistic, passionate, sensitive, delicate, protective, unwavering. Negatives: Insular, narcissistic, violent, domineering, possessive, agoraphobic, germaphobe, vengeful, jealous, manipulative, depressive, demanding, suffocating. Secret Dreams: To never leave Allerdale Hall.’ He goes even into descriptions like, ‘Likes: The smell of good tobacco, the taste of very bitter chocolate.’”

In addition to all the character details that del Toro gave her, Chastain also did a good deal of research on her own. She recalled watching Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and Misery. “I love the idea of someone being helpless and also Kathy Bates in Misery, I actually feel for that woman when I watch the movie because you think like, ‘God, she’s so pathetic.’ And there’s something about her, she actually just wants love, so I tried to surround myself with films like that.”

Even though Lucille certainly isn’t a hero in the movie, Chastain still needed to empathize with the character and believe in what she was doing. “If someone is your everything in life and the only reason for happiness, you’re gonna be possessive of it, because to lose that is to die. I don’t see that as a negative thing in her because any negative quality that she has, everything comes from love.” She laughed and added, “Everything she does is to give love and to receive love. She might be going about it the wrong way.”

At one point in the film, Lucille plays a lullaby on the piano and Chastain was kind enough to play it for us on a keyboard she had in her trailer. And, for what it’s worth, Chastain also cryptically teased, “[Lucille] doesn’t believe in ghosts.”

Read the full report at Shock Till You Drop website.