Jessica Chastain and her fellow crew friends seem to be having a great time on the Prague set of The Zookeeper’s Wife, where Chastain was currently working with “way more” women than she’s ever collaborated with before on a film production. She says the experience has still been transformative, writing in an essay for The Hollywood Reporter that she and the other female members of the Zookeeper’s Wife team are “giddy with happiness:”
The energy is great, you all are working together as a community, and everyone is participating in the exchange of ideas. You don’t feel a hierarchy; you don’t have anyone feeling like they are being left out or bullied or humiliated. Sometimes being the only girl on a set, you can feel like a sexual object.
I was talking to other actors about this recently, and the wonderful thing about having so many women on set is there hasn’t been anyone who has screamed or anything like that. It’s a very collaborative experience, and it’s been heaven for me. We all hang out all the time — there are no strange power plays or egos. We know how rare making this kind of film is. We’re giddy with happiness.
I don’t think it’s a fluke. If you look at the people who put the film together, it’s a lot of women who have had a difficult time in the industry, so of course they are going to want to be on a set where they aren’t the token woman, where there are more voices. And I’m positive that just comes from the women in the power positions making room for other women. Of course, Niki and producers Diane and Kim are not going to think it would be strange to hire a woman — I’m sure that probably helped matters.
The essay, which originally appeared in The Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Entertainment” issue, is definitely worth a full read.