Category Archives: Interviews

Interview: Hollywood oversexualises female action stars

Jessica did another – amazing – interview to Radio Times, in which she talks – again! – about the sexism on movie industry.

Jessica Chastain has spoken out in the past about the limited types of roles available for women on screen. The actress has already called out Marvel (for offering her a “boring civilian” part in Iron Man 3) and Russell Crowe (who said mature women had plenty of roles to pick from).

Now she’s taking issue with what she views as the over-sexualisation of female action heroes. “If you look at films like Elektra and Aeonflux, the problem that studios have is that they try to make kickass women very sexualised. They have to be in some catsuit.”

“But if you look at the most incredible female roles, like Ripley in Alien, she is a very sexy woman but she’s not wearing a lot of make-up. She’s in a T-shirt and jeans. What’s sexy about her is how capable she is. Same with Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games – she’s not wearing a catsuit, either.”

The Martian star went on to stress that cinema audiences are more interested in seeing an “intelligent” character, rather than one who is reliant on her sexuality. “Studios have misjudged it in the past, and thought audiences weren’t interested in seeing a woman in an action role who’s a capable, intelligent woman and isn’t only leaning on her sex.”

You can get your Radio Times issue, already on stands today!

The Graham Norton Show

Jessica made an appearance on BBC’s The Graham Norton Show on Friday (September 25) while she was in London to promote ‘The Martian‘ alongside her co-star Matt Damon, actor Bill Bailey and artist The Weeknd. The official stills and HD screencaptures can be found in our gallery and we added the full interview – in 4 parts – in our video archive.

Heady days for Jessica Chastain as ‘The Martian’ and ‘Crimson Peak’ loom

LA Times published this week a new interview with Jessica, following the upcoming release of The Martian and Crimson Peak. I also added in our gallery the portrait that accompanied the article.

In “The Martian,” in theaters Oct. 2 and based on the bestselling novel by Andy Weir, Chastain plays the leader of a NASA expedition to Mars who accidentally leaves a crew member (Matt Damon) behind and then spearheads a mission to go back and save him. Think a 21st century “Robinson Crusoe” on a planet millions of miles away, with Damon as the stranded castaway and Chastain heading up the rescue party.

A firm believer in deep research, Chastain — who grew up in Sacramento and studied acting at Juilliard — threw herself into learning everything she could about space exploration before embarking on the film, meeting with scientists and astronauts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston. “The inner geek in me went wild,” she said.

“Crimson Peak,” which hits theaters Oct. 16, shows off a far darker aspect of Chastain’s range. The actress plays Lady Lucille Sharpe, a mysterious woman with a twisted family secret who, along with her brother (Tom Hiddleston), lures a young author (Mia Wasikowska) to their crumbling, haunted estate in England for less than wholesome purposes.

Though Lucille is ostensibly the film’s villain, Chastain approached the character from a place of profound empathy, reading graveyard poetry and watching films like “Rebecca,” “Misery” and “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” to get in the proper mind-set. “I’d never played anyone who was so intensely lonely,” she said. “I don’t see Lucille as a monster. I have compassion for how she became what she is.”

To read the full interview, head over the LA Times website.

Jessica Chastain Interview for Madame Figaro

A new interview was published this weekend on Madame Figaro website, in which Jessica talks about being the new Piaget international ambassador. She also talked about feminism, and you can read the (web translated) interview below.
Also, the two HQ Piaget promotional images are now added in our gallery.

Jessica Chastain: “Each role devours me from within”

The unclassifiable icon has emerged in Hollywood with radical choices. In real life, the flamboyant ambassador for Piaget advocates for women and fervently supports the candidacy of Hillary Clinton to the White House. Meet the hyperactress.

True incendiary bomb ticking, Jessica Chastain was a winding path before exploding with Zero Dark Thirty, a film that has permanently installed at the top of the Hollywood pyramid. Now inevitable, she appeared in Interstellar and A Most Violent Year, two surprises of 2014. The autumn 2015 promises to be as exciting with Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, and Ridley Scott’s The Martian. But this curious and Francophile eternal claimed also takes the time to breathe in other lands. Became the muse for Yves Saint Laurent perfume Manifesto, she was recently appointed international ambassador for Piaget Possession ring for her, created in 1990 and revisited this year (to discover in the new flagship Piaget, 7, rue de la Paix ). So, Paris is the city of his elective affinities. Installed in following an elegant, Jessica Chastain received us smiling because she knows that France returns his affection hundredfold.

Madame Figaro. – What do you like about the French brands?
Jessica Chastain. – I like all French culture. And it is a great honor to have been chosen to represent the Piaget Possession ring. I love it. For as long as I wear rings, I have always been part of those who turn them constantly. And it’s amazing how well it lends this ring – it’s a real toy! It relaxes me, it’s like a talisman that I can not part with it.

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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.