Jessica Chastain‘s been a household name for little more than a decade with critically acclaimed performances in buzzy films like Zero Dark Thirty, and it’s been nearly as long as her latest project George & Tammy was in the works.
Debuting in December 2022 and concluding in January 2023, it was roughly a ten-year journey to the small screen for the flawless limited series led by Chastain (who has already been nominated for a Golden Globe Award and SAG Award) and costar Michael Shannon who together portrays one of country music’s most famous couples — George Jones and Tammy Wynette. The Oscar-winner who has had awards luck in the past for playing another famous Tammy in The Eyes of Tammy Faye has been preparing for this big country break since the idea was floated by her at another awards show by executive producer Josh Brolin.
Below, she opens up about the process of honoring Wynette through her preparation, collaborating with costars Shannon and Steve Zahn, as well as what it was like to work alongside George and Tammy’s real-life daughter Georgette Jones. Plus, learn more about the story behind the show’s creation, along with Chastain’s approach to recreating the country icon’s performances.
Congratulations on your recent nominations for the Golden Globes and most recently the SAG Awards.
Jessica Chastain: Thank you. It’s very surprising. Most of the shows being recognized came out in the spring [and] we came out December 4th. So, we’re really surprised, and hopefully, it’ll encourage more people to watch it.
This series has been in the works for some time. Is it gratifying to have all of that hard work recognized in this way?
Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, Josh Brolin actually approached me at the Golden Globes over 10 years ago and was the one who told me I should play Tammy Wynette. I didn’t really know much about her. It was the first year that I was at an award ceremony, and the first year of my career, so to have a movie star push me and tell me I should play a character. I was like, “Yes, I’ll do it.” So it really has been a long time coming and it’s been a lot of work. It’s a bit bittersweet because so much of the show is a two-hander between, [Michael Shannon] and I. And I just hope more people watch the show and recognize the once-in-a-lifetime performance that he gives in this series.
Read the full interview/article in our press library.