Jessica did a great interview to The Guardian, that was published today. Read it below:
Jessica Chastain is such an extraordinary actor that you almost miss her. She brings so little ego to the roles she plays, so little of herself, that you go away with no idea who that actress actually was. Some Hollywood stars seem adept at pulling a film’s centre of gravity towards them; Chastain seems to exist in a quiet gravity of her own.
In The Help, which gave her an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress (and won her a Bafta and Golden Globe award), she played Celia Foote, a brassy, busty blonde. Given that the script traded on stereotypes, you can imagine another actress making more of a meal of it. But Chastain’s Celia, even when drunk and out of control, had a quietness that was devastating.
Her second Oscar nomination was for Zero Dark Thirty, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, in which she played Maya, the CIA operative who tracks down Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. When watching President Obama on the news, saying that America does not torture, her expression remains inscrutable, even though we know she has been party to such torture. “That vacant face partly explains, I suspect, why Zero Dark Thirty has stirred up so much controversy,” wrote Manohla Dargis, admiringly, in the New York Times.
All of which leaves me wondering whom I am actually going to meet, when I arrive at Universal Studios in Los Angeles to interview her. We are introduced in a trailer (not hers: it’s fairly impersonal). She is charming, immaculately groomed in a smart short dress, sitting with a poise that feels almost old Hollywood. Except that she then admits she’s freezing in her smart short dress and can someone fetch her coat to put across her knees. She is friendly but not gushing; she doesn’t pretend we are going to be best friends. You realise she has become a movie star because she has spent her whole life preparing to be a movie star.
Within minutes, though, the stuff Chastain is talking about is so new Hollywood as to be almost radical. When we meet, a lawsuit filed by the pop star Kesha, who wants to get out of her Sony contract because, she alleges, her producer Dr Luke has repeatedly raped and abused her, is all over the news; Adele has just announced her support, while Taylor Swift has offered to pay some of her legal fees. Dr Luke has denied all of Kesha’s allegations. Meanwhile, the fight for equal pay in Hollywood is hotting up, too, and Chastain is massively encouraged by all of this.
Jessica, Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey did an interview to The New York Times to promote Interstellar, and you can read it below:
Ms. Chastain, Ms. Hathaway and Mr. McConaughey gathered recently to discuss the pathways that led them to “Interstellar” and the universes to which it introduced them. Together, they carried themselves less like a crew of seasoned, seen-it-all veterans than three guileless novices still acclimating to their mission and to one another. They kidded around, swapped notes on Mr. Nolan and their interpretations of the film, and apologized profusely for their lack of Ph.D.s.
These are excerpts from that conversation.
Q. Did any of you grow up dreaming of someday becoming an astronaut?
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY I did not. I was very much, what’s happening on the ground was going to be enough. Until I made “Contact” [the 1997 movie about the search for extraterrestrial life]. That made me actually wonder: “O.K., it’s not just what’s happening here, east, west, in front of us. You can look up. What’s the new frontier to the north?”
JESSICA CHASTAIN I loved Princess Leia as a kid. I loved that she was so badass and took control. But I have no interest in being one of those people on the spaceships they’re advertising that go to the moon. No thank you. I’ll be one of those people that stays on Earth, eating corn.
ANNE HATHAWAY When I was in fifth grade, my older brother asked me how I was doing in school, and I said I did just get a 52 on a math test. Later, I said I wanted to be an astronaut, and he said, ‘Well, you’re going to have to raise your math scores if you want to do that.’ Later in life, I discovered I do love science, and I do love physics. But I was really happy that in this film, I could still be bad at math and be an astronaut.
Tom Hardy did a very dog love interview to Vulture in which he mention Woody, the dog he got on Lawless set:
Woody is what kind of dog? Hardy: We don’t know. He’s some cattle dog, cross Labrador thing. I found him with Jessica Chastain. We were in Atlanta, Georgia, doing Lawless, and he was in the motorway. We almost ran him over with a Prius. Imagine running him over with a Prius, of all things. [Laughs.] What would be worse: to be run over, or to be run over by a Prius? You know what I mean? [Laughs.] And he ran off into the motorway, and Jess was like, “No, no, no! You’ve got to go after him!” He was only 11 weeks old, and so we got hold of him and he became the on-set dog, and Jessica’s mom looked after him for me for about six months while he cleared quarantine, and then we brought him back to London, so he’s my dog now. He goes on all my film sets now. He’s a great on-set dog.
Jessica did a great interview to The Guardian, specially to promote Salome/Wilde Salome which is going to screen in a double-bill on September 21 at the BFI Southbank in London(For participating cinemas and to buy tickets, visit cinestage.co.uk/salome). Check it:
This autumn belongs to Jessica Chastain, who stars in four of the season’s Oscar contenders, directed by the likes of Al Pacino, Guillermo Del Toro and Christopher Nolan. But what she really wants is a cape
Jessica Chastain would like a table at the back. She’s on a tight schedule, and in 10 minutes she’ll need to take a call to discuss “an issue” with “a studio”. “I’m not happy with the way a distribution plan is going,” she says, not rattled, just frank – happy, even. For another actor, such a call might be a windmill-tilt, but Chastain’s knack for picking prestige projects indicates a star with clout.
She has been on an almost flawless run (she pulled out of 2013’s Diana biopic) since 2011, AKA The Year of Jessica Chastain, when audiences saw her in The Help, Take Shelter, The Debt, Coriolanus and The Tree of Life. That was topped by a weekend in January 2013 when she became the first female actor in half a century to star in both the No 1 and No 2 movies at the US box office (Mama and Zero Dark Thirty). That same month, she landed her second Oscar nomination in as many years. This machine-like – and on the face of it rather frightening – rate of productivity was in fact an accident: projects that had been shot years apart ended up getting released back-to-back. Though she will admit to a certain work ethic. “I feel like I’m being drawn in so many directions,” she says. “I make so many films.”
Vulture has a nice article about Jessica and how supportive she is regarding other female actresses. We all know this side of her back when she was head to head with Jennifer Lawrence at the 2013 Oscars, in which she used her Facebook to take down any rumors regarding a feud between both. Last week, she amazingly called out Hollywood for the lack of a Scarlett Johansson lead film at the Avengers franchise. Vulture listed not only these examples, but others in which Jessica is being very supportive and enthusiast over her female actresses friends. Head over the Vulture website to read the complete list.
New York Magazine has published on their current issue an interview with Jessica talking on her most recent projects Interstellar, Eleanor Rigby, A Most Violent Year, Miss Julie… You can find digital scans in our gallery, and also the transcript on our press archive.
The Hollywood Reporter – The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 17, bringing back together director Ned Benson and stars Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and Jess Weixler. For the trio, it’s not just a reunion of the cast but a reunion of friends.
The actresses and director forged their bonds of friendship over more than a decade. Chastain and Weixler became friends when they both studied at Juilliard, and Chastain and Benson met long before she became a star for her work in Tree of Life and Zero Dark Thirty.
Chastain had even attended the Berlin Film Festival with Weixler when the Good Wife actress had a film, Teeth, in the fest.
“Jess is like my sister in real life,” says Chastain. “She went to the Berlin Film Festival, and I went to the festival with her, and I carried her coat on the red carpet and supported her.”
And then it reversed when Weixler went with Chastain to Cannes for the first time two years ago.
“When I came here for Tree of Life, she videotaped me on the red carpet,” Chastain says with a smile.
The New York Times has today an interview with director Ned Benson, in which he talks about his three movie projects The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him, Her and Them, specially the last one which is the one to be screening in Cannes this week.
Q. What inspired the “different perspective” approach?
A. I had written the “Him” part as a script for a movie just before I met Jessica Chastain and became friendly with her. I told her about it, and she asked me lots of questions about the female character: Why did she do this? What did she feel? I thought about all that, and that there was obviously another perspective on the story I had written. So it was organic in a way; I started writing a second script based on getting that other look at the relationship. It wasn’t as if I had a big concept idea about it first. Afterward I became really excited about it, because I don’t think anything quite like this has been done.
Q. It’s not exactly a commercial idea. How hard was it to raise money and to find distributors?
A. It was very hard to raise money. I was 28 when I started writing “Him” — I am 37 now, so that gives you some idea. But Jessica became well known around the time we were working on the second script, and that helped. There were people who were interested in the idea, but terrified to take the risk. I am an unknown director; who knows if I could make one film, let alone two?
Q. How did you plan the filming of “Him” and “Her”? Did you shoot them separately?
A. We didn’t shoot the films separately, although we were always very clear about which scene was for which film. We did it by character.
The first week I spent with James [McAvoy] and Ciaran Hinds, who plays his dad, and shot their whole story. The second week, we did the stuff that shows the early part of Jessica and James’s relationship. And so on. Some scenes are the same in both movies, but they show either his version of what happened or hers. The actors were amazing because you had to approach those scenes in two ways; first as you see it, and then as the other character is seeing you.
Make sure to visit The New York Times to read the whole interview, it’s very interesting. A version of this special report appears in print on May 14, 2014, in The International New York Times.
Time unveiled their 2014 Most Influential People list and Lawless/Zero Dark Thirty producer Megan Ellis is among them. The personality chosen to write a tribute was, obviously, her friend Jessica.
Hollywood’s powerful wunderkind
The Italian Renaissance flourished because patrons like the Medici family sponsored artists and valued their craft. Today the film industry has been blessed with a modern version of the Medicis — a single benefactor who has the utmost respect for cinema: Megan Ellison.
I first met Megan on the set of Lawless in 2011 and quickly discovered her love of cinema. Her Annapurna Pictures produces daringly original films driven by visionaries, including Zero Dark Thirty, True Grit, The Master, American Hustle and Her. They have earned a total of 35 Academy Award nominations, and she is the first female producer to earn two Best Picture nominations in the same year. Oh, and she’s only 28.
Megan is not only changing the direction our industry is going in, she’s also enriching our culture. Where would we be without Lorenzo the Magnificent supporting Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo? I’m glad that we’ll never have to know.
It seems Amy Adams is turned into a Chastainer, like us all.
Reading a bit of her Vanity Fair covershoot interview, she did a brief mention on Jessica, naming her “One of the most amazing actress”. Now, on her most recent interview to New York Times, she was more specific:
Mammoth superhero franchises aside, if she had her choice of future projects, she’d collaborate with the actor Jessica Chastain, whom she said she adores.
“I want to find something where we can play sisters,” she said. “We can do a chain thing: You write one scene, I’ll write another, and we’ll send it back and forth while I’m doing ‘Superman.’ ”
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