Category Archives: Interviews

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.

Actors on Actors: Jessica Chastain and Mark Ruffalo Sneak Peek

Variety published today a sneak peek of the Actors on Actors conversations between Jessica and Mark Ruffalo. The full video will air next January on PBS.

The Envelope Oscar Round Table

For this year’s awards season, The Envelope brought together a unique group of actresses, including rising stars breaking through to the next level and established stars breaking out into new roles and challenges, each earning some buzz for their current films.

Participating in the conversation were Jennifer Aniston from the small, personal drama “Cake” (opening in December); Emily Blunt from the musical “Into the Woods” (opening Christmas Day); Jessica Chastain from the recently released space epic “Interstellar” and the December drama “A Most Violent Year”; Gugu Mbatha-Raw from the historic drama “Belle,” which opened in May; and Shailene Woodley from June’s young adult love story “The Fault in Our Stars.”

On The Envelope website you can watch videos (unfortunately can’t be embed) from the interview, plus excerpts of the conversation moderated by Times film writers Rebecca Keegan and Mark Olsen.

I watched it twice and one time on the airplane and I was sniveling and sobbing. (laughter) Because, you know what, airplanes make you more emotional and it was really like I was loudly crying, and I didn’t realize it because I was wearing the headphones and someone told me and I was like, “Oh, my God!”
Jessica, to Shailene Woodley, about ‘The Fault in Our Stars’

Jessica Chastain visits Conan

Jessica Chastain visited Conan Show this Wednesday (12) to promote her new film Interstellar and once again she delivered an adorable interview. And, of course, she talked about her Grandmother’s affair with Matthew McConaughey:

JESSICA CHASTAIN: Yeah. I thought that was the biggest goal of her life, you know, that picture of Al Pacino. There is one man who has passed Al Pacino in my grandmother’s heart and that’s Matthew McConaughey.
CONAN: He’s such a charmer. I bet she went nuts.
JESSICA CHASTAIN: He flirted with her like I’ve never seen. They met at a screening of “Interstellar” and my grandmother was so starstruck, “I want a selfie, Matthew.” She then proceeded to do a photo shoot in front of everyone. Like you stand there, and she just started taking pictures of Matthew.
CONAN: I’m impressed she does selfies, a grandmother who does selfies?
JESSICA CHASTAIN: Except she wasn’t in the selfie.
Excerpt by TeamCoco.com

Check the video in our archive, and screencaptures in the gallery.

“Interstellar” Interviews

I updated our video archive with several videos with interviews Jessica (Anne and Matthew) did to promote Interstellar, as well red carpet interviews from the premieres.