Jessica Chastain as: Jolene
Directed by: Dan Ireland
Screenplay by: Dennis Yares
Based on: E.L. Doctorow’s story, “Jolene: A Life.”
Selected Cast: Ruperto Friend, Dermot Mulroney, Michael Vartan,
Running Time: 121min
Release Date: June 13, 2008 (Seattle International Film Festival)
Wide Release: October 29, 2010 (US)
Genre: Romance, Drama

A teenage orphan spends ten years traveling cross-country experiencing life, love and heartbreak.

Production Notes

This was Jessica’s debut movie. It was filmed in Arizona, US. While the drama received mixed reviews, Chastain’s performance was praised by a reviewer for the New York Observer, who remarked that she “not only holds her own corner of every scene, she’s the only thing you want to watch”. Jessica won a Best Actress award at the Seattle International Film Festival, in 2008.

When talking about Jolene, Jessica told that “is a story about a girl who is looking for love through all these relationships. I remember my first love and how you so easily get lost in the other person’s world — especially if you don’t have a strong sense of who you are. Jolene being an orphan, I thought it was interesting: As she’s going through all these characters and these different worlds, these relationships are kind of feeding on her. I drew on the experience of first love, but I’m also a crazy researcher. I went out to Sumter, South Carolina, and recorded the accents and did all that before I even got to the set. That was really helpful as well.