Category Archives: Interviews

Jessica Interviews Xavier Dolan for Interview Magazine

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.

Go to Interview website to read the full interview.

Jessica Covers Telegraph Magazine

Jessica is gracing the cover of this saturday’s Telegraph UK Magazine. The magazine cover, photoshoot outtakes and official BTW photos have been added in our gallery. An excerpt of the interview can be found below.

After a slow–burning start to her career, Jessica Chastain is on fire. Interview by Celia Walden.

In the corner booth of a clattering beachside restaurant in Santa Monica, California, Jessica Chastain is playing dead. Her pupils are static, and beneath her grey cashmere jumper her diaphragm has stopped moving. ‘You see how I pufed out my chest and just held it there?’ she says, pinging back to life with a smile. ‘It’s actually quite hard.’ A dead body in a pilot for a goingnowhere TV show called The Evidence was one of Chastain’s first roles – memorable because ‘there was no acting at all. I was literally just lying there on the street in San Francisco in the cold and the rain. Six months later they brought me back to lie in the street again, but even then I never thought, I need to do a diferent job. I was still so excited about it.’

Eight years on, Chastain, 37, is in two Oscar–contending films, Christopher Nolan’s dystopian sci–fiepic Interstellar and JC Chandor’s A Most Violent Year (for which she is up for a Golden Globe tomorrow), was on the cover of a recent Time magazine and is the face of an Yves Saint Laurent fragrance. Since we last met two years ago she has won a Golden Globe and been nominated for an Oscar for her role as Maya, the intrepid CIA agent in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. I am expecting her to have developed a hard shell of success and to have lost the easy, high–school giggle I found so appealing the first time I interviewed her. I am wrong. Chastain arrives alone; she is open and speaks with such a nerdy enthusiasm for A Most Violent Year that she trips over her own words trying to describe what playing Anna Morales – the flinty wife of a heating–oil company proprietor – meant to her.

Read the full interview at the Telegraph’s website and be sure to also check out their BTS slideshow.

Jessica on Crowe’s Comments About Ageism in Hollywood

In a controversial interview to Australian Women’s Weekly, Russell Crowe stated that “woman who is saying that [the roles have dried up] is the woman who at 40, 45, 48 still wants to play the ingénue, can’t understand why she’s not being cast as the 21-year-old.”

Last night, during a chat with Cosmopolitan on the red carpet, Jessica responded it.

I think Russell keeps getting his foot stuck in his mouth,” she said with a laugh. There are some incredible actresses in their 50s and 60s that are not getting opportunities in films, and for someone to say there are plenty of roles for women that age … [that] is not someone who’s going to the movie theater.

[There’s] a huge difference between male roles and female roles, and there are a lot of great actresses out there that I wish I could see in more films.

How can one not love her?

Jessica & Oscar Isaac Talk With USA Today

Jessica and her A Most Violent Year co-star Oscar Isaac talked with USA Today about their movie.

Back when she was a drama student at the Juilliard School in Manhattan, Jessica Chastain wasn’t what you’d call a connoisseur of the boozy party scene.

“I wasn’t very tortured. But I was very obsessive about work, which I still am,” says the 37-year-old, two-time Oscar nominee, who graduated from the Lincoln Center campus in 2003. “A lot of people went to (bars) and I think I went one time during school. I wasn’t really a partier.”

Her classmate Oscar Isaac was markedly similar. “The first time I had alcohol I was 25 or 26. I was well into Juilliard,” he says. “I didn’t see the city much.”

Their first year at school, they had to perform monologues for the entire drama department. Chastain did Helen of Troy. Isaac noticed her. It wasn’t reciprocated until later.

“I can’t remember the first time we met. It wasn’t like this magic moment of, ‘Who is that man?’ ” she says.

Isaac, 34, pretends to be hurt. “Maybe a little bit,” he nudges her.

Read the full interview USA Today’s website and a second interview/article can be found here.

Jessica talks “A Most Violent Year”, “Crimson Peak” and more

In a new interview to Indiewire, Jessica talks about A Most Violent Year, the crazy press schedule for Interstellar, her love for Crimson Peak… and all before flying to Budapest to shoot The Martian. Busy bee!

With “Interstellar” you did the biggest press tour you’ve ever done in your life.
I never had a press tour like that. I’ve never been in a movie that big. We had four premieres. And each city we went to we had TV junkets and it was a complicated thing for me to talk about. You’re not supposed to give away spoilers. It was an interesting experience. It’s such a huge press tour for a film that you’re not really allowed to talk about.

You shot “A Most Violent Year” while you shot “Crimson Peak,” right?
Oh my gosh. Flying back and forth to Toronto. I don’t think I’ll ever repeat that. I’m glad I did it because if I hadn’t done it, I would never have been in this film, and I love it so much. Wait until you see “Crimson Peak” because these characters are so different. I’m the English governess in it. A completely different energy.

You use a lot of interviews as a platform to demand for better roles for women in film, but it’s clear you’re managing to find them. Is it just luck?
I’m lucky. When I speak out I’m not doing it from a selfish place because I get incredible opportunities. I get incredible roles and experiences with these wonderful filmmakers. I’m speaking out as an audience member who is going to the cinema and noticing there’s a problem here because I don’t see women being represented. I don’t see Asian-American actresses begin represented. I don’t see women in their 60s being represented in film. I want to see incredible actresses like Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe in movies. There are these really fantastic actresses out there, but there are so few opportunities.

You’re one of the most outspoken actresses working in Hollywood today. Did you have a really strong female role model growing up?
For me, it’s more like, I always root for voices in society. There are groups of people that have, growing up, felt like they don’t have a voice. And I don’t think that’s right. I recently did an interview with, and I love him so much, Xavier Dolan, and he said that beautiful thing at Cannes about Jane Campion. He said that growing up as a gay man, he kind of connected to women because of a need to be heard. Everyone wants to be seen and to be heard. And that’s what I want to fight for. That’s why I talk about Asian American actors or African American women. I’m an audience member first, and when I go to see a movie, I want to see the voices of everyone.

Read the full interview at Indiewire’s website.

New Interview About ‘A Most Violent Year’

Indiewire has published a great interview with Jessica about A Most Violent Year:

So often in the crime drama, female characters are relegated to these smaller, secondary roles. But your character here is much more than that. Can you talk about building a figure that is actually much greater than the usual moll or femme fatale?
A lot of credit goes to J.C. [Chandor], the writer. When he first sent me the script, the thing I said to him was, “You know what? I just have this idea for her, for what you wrote. Of course, I’m sure you’ve never thought about this. To me, she feels like Dick Cheney. I’d love to explore that more with her.” I love the idea that, in this film, you underestimate her. It’s fun playing a character that is underestimated. You see her putting makeup on, you think, “Okay, this is the ‘wife’ of this crime thriller.” But then you realize, “Oh, no, she’s a lot more than that.”

One of the interesting things about that misconception is that it plays a lot into the gender politics between her and Oscar Isaac’s character. What do you think that element of the film reflects about 1981, or about today?
Well, in 1981, it was absolutely a man’s world in New York City. You feel some change coming to the world, because you have the granddaughter [Annie Funke] starting to take control of the other heating oil business. But for sure when Anna — in 1970, maybe? — when her father gave the company to her husband… in 1970 in New York City, it wouldn’t have been very common for a woman to run that business. Thank God we’ve gone forward! Of course I don’t think we’ve gone far enough, and we have some ways to go, but J.C. shows the sexism in it. She’s a woman, she’s very smart, and she realizes she needs to use what tools she has when she can. And that even means when she’s going to the bankers’ dinner, she’s going to wear a very revealing dress, because that is her tool in a man’s world. I think he’s a very smart writer, J.C. His brain is crazy!

In developing your character, were there any specific influences from crime fiction, or elsewhere? Of course there’s the staple: Lady Macbeth.
It’s interesting. A lot of people mention Lady Macbeth because she’s the go-to when you think of a strong female character with a husband. But the problem with that is that Lady Macbeth goes crazy. Anna doesn’t. Anna is very comfortable doing what she’s doing. And she has no qualms about it! She has no regrets. She actually feels that’s the way things need to be done. So that is the difference. I can say yes to Lady Macbeth in that she is a woman who is inspiring her husband to be larger and bigger than he even thinks is possible. He’s her king. But she never regrets what she does.

What’s interesting is that in a movie filled with physically large, gun-wielding men, your character is the most intimidating character in the film. I don’t know if you consider yourself an intimidating person—
Oh, I hope not! [Laughs]

Read the full interview on Indiewire.

LA Times Hollywood Sessions: Actresses

LA Times finally has published the full conversation with Jennifer Aniston, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Shailene Woodley.

hollywoodsessions

Click on the image to be redirected to the interview. Screen captures are coming soon!

Variety Actors on Actors: Full Video

Variety has published the full video for the ‘Variety Actors on Actors’ series, in which two actors was set to candid chat about their careers. Jessica was paired with Mark Ruffalo and during the week the magazine is teasing us with some bits of the interviews.

The interview will air on PBS SoCal on Dec. 28 as a part of the Variety Studio: Actors on Actors series and on PBS stations nationally beginning in January; check local listings.

Jessica visits ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’

Jessica visited The Ellen Degeneres Show yesterday, to promote Interstellar. Watch the video interview in our archive, and check the screen captures, added to the gallery:

Jessica and Mark on Rehearsing, ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Foxcatcher’

Jessica and Mark Ruffalo was paired on Variety Studios Actors on Actors and today alongside the cover was released a portrait (which you can find in our gallery) and another excerpt from the interview. Check it:

Ruffalo: So I would assume that you’re an actor who doesn’t mind a proper rehearsal.
Chastain: Yes, I love it.
Ruffalo: And do you think that comes from your training? Being onstage?
Chastain: Definitely, but I have been in situations where they say, “Yes, we need you for a week of rehearsal before,” and then you just end up sitting in your hotel room for a week.
Ruffalo: So do you find that the art of rehearsing been lost? I mean I feel like a lot of people don’t know how to rehearse.
Chastain: Well to me, it always depends on the actor. Because sometimes it’s great when the first time you say the lines with the other person is caught on camera. For me, rehearsal isn’t about going over the scene over and over again; it’s about going through the script as who I am — not as the character — and saying, what does this line mean and how long have we known each other? … Fleshing out as much as you can that’s not on the page, and building the relationship with the other actor.
Ruffalo: So do you feel more free because of that? Did you improvise a little bit?
Chastain: Actually, (with) Christopher Nolan for “Interstellar,” I was shocked, because I thought he wouldn’t want improvisation. But one of the very first days, I had these speeches to do, and Chris said to me, “OK, why don’t you just put it in your own words now?” The more you rehearse and know your character — even if you’re rehearsing on your own — the easier it is to improvise. Did you guys improvise?
Ruffalo: Yeah, we would start on the script, and then break free, and it wouldn’t be much, maybe a little exercise that then (we) would refine. (Director Bennett Miller) would say, “I really like that. Let’s take that piece of improvisation, do it again, see where we go if we add this (other) element.” So we were building. And then he’d strip out all the dialogue, and it would be a physicalization — you know, hold that moment, don’t feel compelled to say anything, but let that improvisation inform what’s happening between the two of you. And sometimes in those improvisations, there would be a long silence, or there would be some physical thing that came out of the improvisation that would be the whole scene.