JESSICA CHASTAIN AS JOAN OF ARC
Individuality makes an icon. Joan of Arc inspires me because she fought against society’s constraints. She went against the grain.
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.
She’s featured inside in a picture taken by Tim Walker, and is, once again, quoted talking about gender equality in Hollywood.
Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year and Interstellar
“The part I play in Interstellar was originally written ?for a man. It was about a father and son, rather than a father and daughter. When Christopher Nolan, the director, switched the gender, I don’t think much about the character changed. And that shows you that Hollywood could easily take more chances with female characters: Men and women aren’t that different.”
Additional portraits of Jessica and Oscar Isaac‘s USA Today photoshoot have been added in our gallery.
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.