Jessica Chastain still can’t believe it. The actress just arrived home after spending the past 10 days in the studio with Grammy- and Academy Award-winning producer T Bone Burnett in Nashville, Tennessee, recording music for the upcoming series George & Tammy starring Chastain and Michael Shannon as country legends (and roller-coaster couple) Tammy Wynette and George Jones.
“I’m not a singer,” Chastain attests on a video call from her place in New York, clearly still processing the experience as her blue eyes dart back and forth under her signature red locks, looking far less fearless than the characters she typically portrays. “I’m an actor who can tell the story through a song.” She pauses for a beat. “I hope.”
Among the 31 songs Chastain recorded with Burnett, who famously crafted the music for O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Walk the Line, was Wynette’s iconic “Stand By Your Man.” Chastain cites taking on the anthemic and oft debated ballad as one of the biggest challenges of her career. “Mike Shannon and I were talking about it, and I told him it’s worse than full-frontal nudity,” she says with a snicker. “It could not be more uncomfortable.”