The actress on her role as a feisty warrior in ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War,’ her recent string of dark movies and the wage gap between men and women
Actress Jessica Chastain says people often ask her if she looks for strong female characters to play. In her view, she’s just playing real women. “I want to play a character who’s in charge of her own destiny, and while some people might describe that as strong, I just describe that as normal,” she says.
Ms. Chastain, 39, has become known for her roles in “The Help” (2011), “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) and “Interstellar” (2014). Her latest is a starring role as a warrior who battles an evil queen in “The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” a sequel to the 2012 film “Snow White and the Huntsman.”
Her last few films have dealt with somber subjects, including “A Most Violent Year” (2014), about New York’s 1981 crime wave. So Ms. Chastain decided that it was time for a more lighthearted role. “I had just done a string of very dark characters, and I was feeling very down,” she says. “I was like: I need to get a comedy. I need to get something just really silly and fun.”
“The Huntsman” isn’t exactly a comedy. Still, when the Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, who plays the title character, gave her the script to consider, the warrior’s feisty side piqued her interest. She also liked the fact that the warrior and the huntsman, who fight alongside each other and become romantically involved, treat each other as equals. In romantic relationships, she says, “You don’t want one person to be the one making all the decisions and the other to follow. You want to be a partner.”