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.