Earlier this month The Hollywood Reporter presented a great cover interview with Jessica, to talk about gender equality and how she became a powerful force for change in Hollywood and beyond.
These public acts of feminism have become a natural extension of the way Chastain conducts business, which in turn has raised her profile in New Hollywood to heights beyond what even her two Oscar nominations and more than $1 billion in career box office would suggest. In 2016, she founded the women-led (by Chastain and former Weinstein Co. producer Kelly Carmichael) Freckle Films, which has garnered attention for a commitment to equal pay — and a series of high-profile sales, most recently the international spy thriller 355. In addition to spearheading the project — doing research that showed women-led ensemble films perform better than male-led ones, noticing the dearth of female spy thrillers, recruiting director Simon Kinberg and writer Theresa Rebeck — it was Chastain’s idea, confirms Kinberg, for the film’s stars to be paid equally in a deal orchestrated by CAA. “We independently financed it,” Chastain says. “And all five of the actresses” — Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, Lupita Nyong’o and Marion Cotillard — “own equity in the film. I love the idea about creating this movie and seeing that these women aren’t just people for hire.” She says she was motivated by the way the industry previously treated leading women. “Like Susan Sarandon or Jessica Lange or Sissy Spacek. You wonder: These incredible actresses, where are they now? Why did they disappear for so long? It was a system that wasn’t working. And so I thought, ‘Well, what if we now take the power and give it to the actresses?’”
Read the full interview in our press archive
Check scans and photoshoot added in our gallery, as well screen captures of the behind-the-scenes video that you can watch below: