A new interview with Jessica has been published on Time website, in which she talks about how to find sympathy for a devil, the movie’s revolutionary take on sex and why Crimson Peak will help make Hollywood a better place for women seeking out robust roles.
TIME: You decided to pursue the role of the villain Lucille instead of the heroine Edith when you were first presented with the script. Why?
Jessica Chastain: Mia is far better than I would have ever been in that role. I think she’s brilliant in the movie. When I read the script, I had never played a character like Lucille, and I wanted to explore that type of loneliness. It was just extreme loneliness. I wanted to find the compassion for this person who ends up doing these terrible things.
The character could have easily become an over-the-top Disney stepmother type of villain, but you feel compassion for her. How do you walk that line?
The thing about Guillermo, and what I love so much about his films, is that he has so much compassion and love for his monsters. When approaching the character, I knew I was going to be in really good hands because I wasn’t interested in just exploring evilness and darkness. That to me is very uninteresting, just as uninteresting as it would be to just explore light and goodness. I want to know what could happen to a person to behave in a way that would make them look like they were a monster.
It’s rare to see two female leads in a movie. Was that something that attracted you to the script?
I speak a lot about diversity, and I’m constantly looking for projects that have more than one point of view in them. I very rarely get to work with actors who are women. I had a great time on The Help. And when I read the script [for Crimson Peak] I was really pleased that there were these two fantastic female characters and that I would have scenes with another actress because that’s my really my desire—to work with as many different kinds of people as possible.
Check the entire interview at Time website.