In this exclusive behind-the-scenes clip below published by Fox to celebrate the Golden Globe winning, Chastain discusses how Commander Melissa Lewis’ professional demeanor drew her to the part. In her preparation for the film, the actress found a shared approach among many women in real life positions of power. “They present themselves not emotional and very authoritative,” she says, “but still one of the team.” That style of leadership is evident in Commander Lewis from the very first scene of The Martian; the audience sees her giving orders to her crew while also showing that she would never ask any of them to do something she’s not also willing to do herself.
The actress sees her character as the most recent in a long line of strong Ridley Scott heroines, like the road tripping revolutionaries of Thelma & Louise and Ripley from the Alien series. The Martian flips one particularly sexist story convention on its head, Chastain is delighted to play it. “The woman can rescue the guy at the end,” she says of Lewis and her mission to save Watney.