By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood May 9, 2012 at 12:10PM
When the news surfaced last week that Jessica Chastain was circling a part in Iron Man 3 I was a bit surprised. I just doesn't seem to be her type of film. She does not scream big Hollywood action flick. Look at her body of work. Last year she starred in five films and was recognized with an Oscar Nomination for her work in The Help and received many accolades for her work in Take Shelter and for The Tree of Life. She is basically the "it girl" of the indie world.
I'm sure there is some pressure (from agents and handlers) especially after you gain worldwide visibility to get a serious paycheck like you could get even for a supporting role in a big budget studio film. And it seems that playing a second or third banana and love interest to a male lead in a big action flick is one of those rites of passage for younger women in Hollywood. Even superb indie women like Maggie Gyllenhaal have gone there. Let's think of some the women who have been in superhero movies: Gwyneth Paltrow - Iron Man; Kate Bosworth - Superman; Jennifer Connelly - The Hulk; Katie Holmes - Batman; Kirsten Dunst - Spider-Man. I know there are many others.
But let's remember the thing about the women in super hero movies -- THEY NEVER HAVE SUPER POWERS.
But Chastain has passed on the part due to her busy schedule. Here's what she said on her Facebook page:
Sorry to say that Iron Man 3 isn't going to work out. My schedule is jammed packed and I can't fit anything else in. The press announced my possible attachment far too soon. I know many of you wanted me to be involved, and I'm so sorry to disappoint you. Hopefully there'll be another Marvel film in my future. Shane Black and everyone on the IM3 team are really wonderful. I'm very excited to see the film when it comes out. xx
I say good for you Jessica. You do such interesting work. Don't take a job just for a paycheck. Hold out for the gig where you are the superhero. That's a movie I will see.
PS- it looks like English actress Rebecca Hall is now in discussions for the part.