Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Cary Fukunaga Finds His Evil Clown Pennywise for 'It' Remake Cary Fukunaga Finds His Evil Clown Pennywise for 'It' Remake Watch: Ryan Gosling Finally Eats His Cereal in Tribute to Meme Creator Ryan McHenry Watch: Ryan Gosling Finally Eats His Cereal in Tribute to Meme Creator Ryan McHenry Quentin Tarantino Enjoys Running the New Beverly, Even When He's Shooting a Movie Quentin Tarantino Enjoys Running the New Beverly, Even When He's Shooting a Movie See Andrew Garfield in First Images from Martin Scorsese's 'Silence' See Andrew Garfield in First Images from Martin Scorsese's 'Silence' Carey Mulligan Just Says No, Goes Full Feminist with 'Far from the Madding Crowd' and 'Suffragette' Carey Mulligan Just Says No, Goes Full Feminist with 'Far from the Madding Crowd' and 'Suffragette' 6 Things Non-Record-Breaker 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Reveals about the Current Box Office 6 Things Non-Record-Breaker 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Reveals about the Current Box Office Box Office: 'Far from the Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Leads Specialty Openers Box Office: 'Far from the Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Leads Specialty Openers Guillermo del Toro Feted at San Francisco Film Fest: "I saw my first corpse at age 4" (Video) Guillermo del Toro Feted at San Francisco Film Fest: "I saw my first corpse at age 4" (Video) Oscar Predictions 2016 Oscar Predictions 2016 It Looks Like David Lynch's 'Mulholland Drive' Is Indeed Coming to Criterion It Looks Like David Lynch's 'Mulholland Drive' Is Indeed Coming to Criterion Cary Fukunaga Teams with 'Brokeback Mountain' Writers for A24's First Original Film Cary Fukunaga Teams with 'Brokeback Mountain' Writers for A24's First Original Film Amy Berg's Sex Abuse Doc 'An Open Secret' Finally Lands Distribution, Goes to Cannes Amy Berg's Sex Abuse Doc 'An Open Secret' Finally Lands Distribution, Goes to Cannes Whither Sony? No Place to Go But Up Whither Sony? No Place to Go But Up Hollywood, Please Don't Remake Nicolas Roeg's 'Don't Look Now' Hollywood, Please Don't Remake Nicolas Roeg's 'Don't Look Now' Riviera Maya Film Fest Dares to Bring Edgy Fare to Cinema-Starved Mexican Audiences Riviera Maya Film Fest Dares to Bring Edgy Fare to Cinema-Starved Mexican Audiences Cannes First Look: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Long-Awaited Martial Arts Epic 'The Assassin' Cannes First Look: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Long-Awaited Martial Arts Epic 'The Assassin' '54: The Director's Cut' Comes to Digital HD in All Its Hedonistic Glory '54: The Director's Cut' Comes to Digital HD in All Its Hedonistic Glory Mark Hamill Shares Vintage Photos from the 'Star Wars' Set Mark Hamill Shares Vintage Photos from the 'Star Wars' Set Hear a Rare Recording of One of Stanley Kubrick's Most Revealing Interviews Hear a Rare Recording of One of Stanley Kubrick's Most Revealing Interviews Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW)

Chameleon Jessica Chastain Talks Tree of Life, The Help, The Debt, Coriolanus

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 23, 2011 at 10:55AM

When Jessica Chastain left her theater training at Juilliard and started landing movie roles, she got a gift. None of the movies came out right away. It took a while before anyone saw her work in Al Pacino's Wilde Salome (which finally debuts in Venice), or Terrence Malick's mystical The Tree of Life (which Fox Searchlight premiered in Cannes before a summer opening), or John Madden's Mossad thriller The Debt, which post-Disney Miramax finally sold to distributor Focus Features (August 31).
2
Thompson on Hollywood

When Jessica Chastain left her theater training at Juilliard and started landing movie roles, she got a gift. None of the movies came out right away. It took a while before anyone saw her work in Al Pacino's Wilde Salome (which finally debuts in Venice), or Terrence Malick's mystical The Tree of Life (which Fox Searchlight premiered in Cannes before a summer opening), or John Madden's Mossad thriller The Debt, which post-Disney Miramax finally sold to distributor Focus Features (August 31).

The delayed openings meant that Chastain remained a hot actress --and a blank slate. Nobody projected her last movie onto what they thought she could do. So she was able to be a chameleon, playing a dramatic actress, a sweetly luminous idealized 50s mother, and a tough-as-nails assassin. She also earned raves as brassy southern blonde Celia in summer lit hit The Help, and starred opposite Michael Shannon as his wife in the ominously atmospheric drama Take Shelter, which played Sundance and Cannes, and will show on the fest circuit before Sony Pictures Classics opens it September 30. Ralph Fiennes also cast her as his wife in Shakespeare's Coriolanus, where she stood her ground against both him and the magnificent Vanessa Redgrave as her mother-in-law. Weinstein Co. picked up the film after it earned raves in Berlin; it will play Toronto before its December release. And Chastain also landed a spot in another fall fest film, Texas Killing Fields, as well as TWC's upcoming period gangster ensemble Wettest County. We talk about all these films below.

Chastain plays the younger Helen Mirren in The Debt, which involved the two figuring out how to play each other. They quickly agreed that there's a big difference between who you are as a younger and older woman. Her young Mossad agent takes on a pivotal mission to track down a Nazi war criminal in 1966 with fellow agents Sam Worthington and Marton Csokas. "I always try to think, how can I relate to this character?" she says.

All her directors were very different. But one stands out above the rest. "Terrence Malick is one of the greatest filmmaker of all time," she says simply. "There's no ego, no separation. There's no other filmmaker who works like that."

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

This article is related to: Interviews , Video, Headliners, Genres, Festivals, Directors, Awards, Oscars, Toronto, Drama


E-Mail Updates