Happy birthday to the talented and wonderful woman, Jessica Chastain! I hope you have a great day… And that all your wishes and dreams come true! I love you / We love you!
HBO has revealed first look footage at its highly anticipated “Scenes from a Marriage” remake, starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain. Originally written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, the 1973 miniseries starred Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson as an affluent married couple whose marriage is charted across a decade, from disintegration to reconciliation and back again. The new limited series is co-created, written, and directed by Hagai Levi. The project marks a reunion for Chastain and Isaac, who led J.C. Chandor’s 2014 film “A Most Violent Year.”
Isaac last teamed with HBO on the limited series “Show Me a Hero” in 2015, which earned him a Golden Globe award. His upcoming projects include roles in Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” reboot and Paul Schrader’s “The Card Counter.”
Chastain, meanwhile, replaced Michelle Williams on the project, who reportedly dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. “Scenes From a Marriage” will mark the first notable TV appearance for two-time Oscar nominee Chastain since her early days. She will next be seen on film playing televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker for director Michael Showalter in Searchlight’s “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”
Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield’s “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” a biopic about Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, will be released on Sept. 24, Searchlight announced on Thursday.
The film will be based on the documentary of the same name that was directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato from World of Wonder. Abe Sylvia wrote the script for the feature. Chastain is producing alongside her producing partner Kelly Carmichael through their Freckle Films production banner, and Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane through their MWM Studios are also producing. Jordana Mollick is executive producing.
Michael Showalter (“The Big Sick”) is directing.
Tammy Faye Bakker was an American singer, evangelist and television personality who first gained recognition for “The PTL Club,” a televangelist program she co-founded with her then-husband Jim Bakker in 1974. In 1978, the pair built a Christian theme park called Heritage USA. Later, Jim Bakker was indicted, convicted and imprisoned on numerous counts of fraud and conspiracy. The couple divorced, and she married Roe Messner. She was then diagnosed with colon cancer in 1996 and died of the disease in 2007.
Strolling the red carpet and appearing on the big screen are just the flashy elements of the job most people see. Behind the scenes, she’s spearheading a movement for equality — and forging her own path to accomplish it all.
Jessica Chastain is a woman of many talents. There’s acting, of course. The two-time Academy Award nominee has starred in over 25 movies, including The Forgiven, which explores the dramatic fallout following a random accident (to be released this year); The Eyes of Tammy Faye, about televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker; and The 355, an international spy thriller about female agents trying to retrieve a top-secret weapon, which comes out in early 2022.
But you may not know that Jessica is also a trained chef who loves cooking, a former ballerina who once went on tour, and the founder of a production company, Freckle Films, who has some forward-thinking business ideas. Case in point: For The 355, which she also produced, Jessica, 43, came up with a plan for all the actors to be paid equally (she is a fierce proponent of fair pay) and share in the film’s profits. “A lot of times, our names are used to sell movies, and that’s how the money is raised for them,” Jessica explains. “So I thought, If our names are being sold, then we need to be the owners of the film.”
When she pitched The 355 to her costars Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger, and Fan Bingbing, Jessica told them, “If you do this movie, you’re going to have to agree to sell it, because you will be an owner. We’re going to sell the distribution rights to raise the budget for the film, and then everyone owns a portion of the box office,” she recalls. The actors all agreed, and the film rights quickly sold. “I don’t know if anything like this has been done before, and honestly, I’m a bit shocked I got away with it,” says Jessica. “But hopefully it creates a new model in which artists can own their work.”
That move is classic Jessica — though she doesn’t like to talk about many of the things she does behind the scenes. Like the time she negotiated to get actor Octavia Spencer the same amount of money she herself was making for a film they were working on together.
When it comes to fighting for pay equality, I would rather just do it and not talk about it. I think it’s actually more powerful if I don’t have to explain it.
What she does like to talk about is the important women in her life. During lockdown last year, she was at home for several months with her loved ones. “It was great because my grandma was with me, and I got to spend time with my family,” says Jessica. “My mom has been with us a lot too. But I miss my girlfriends so much. I miss going out to dinner, just the girls. I miss getting a cocktail, sharing secrets, and getting advice from everyone. I’ve really been missing that sense of community.” (Related: How to Beat Loneliness In the Time of Social Distancing)
As she eases back into work life, rewriting her new normal, Jessica shares her strategies for finding joy and calm amid the craziness and making a difference.
Exercising for Her Mind As Well As Her Muscles
“During quarantine, I did [trainer] Isaac Boots’ Torch’d workouts with my grandmother, who is in her 80s. It was such a breath of sanity during that time to do it every morning with my grandma. And she really helped me be accountable. Now that I’m in film rehearsals in New York, I do Isaac’s workout a couple of times a week, and I also do power yoga online twice a week, and that helps clear my head.
Working out gives me confidence. It’s the sense of being proud of myself. The starting point of exercise is always difficult for me — finding the time and quiet space and feeling that I’ve got a million other things I need to do. But once I finish, I immediately feel like a superhero. It’s also a reminder — especially when you’re in a yoga position or holding a plank, and you’re shaking and thinking, I can’t do it! — that honestly, you can get through anything.”
Listening to Her Body
“I became a vegan about 14 years ago. At the time, I was very low energy, and I remember getting sick. I was making one of my first films, in which I had to play different ages of the character’s life, and I wanted to change my body accordingly. So I would gain weight and then lose it really quickly. After that, my body was wrecked. A friend said, ‘You should try this two-week vegan raw-food diet.’ I hated it. The first week, I was so miserable. But by the second week, I had so much energy. When the two weeks were over, I was like, I’m done! I went to a restaurant and ordered risotto and fish. And that night, I felt sick again. I decided that my body was clearly telling me the way it wanted me to eat. I was raw vegan for about nine months. Now I’m just vegan. (Even Lizzo has experimented with the raw vegan diet.)
I love to cook — so much that I went to the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York in 2012 and took the intensive chef-training program. In the winter I like to make soups and stews and anything roasted. I’m also really into food as medicine. Licorice root tea is my jam during COVID-19, because licorice is really good for your immune system.”
Working to Find Calm and Clarity
“I don’t want anyone to misinterpret this or do anything that’s unhealthy for them, but it’s really important for me to fast one day a week. I do a green-juice fast every Monday. I like to start my week in a quiet place, listening to what’s going on with my mind. It’s a sense of giving myself a moment to be clear and allowing my body to reset. It helps me start the week.” (Related: Lizzo’s Smoothie Cleanse Is Sparking a Conversation About Diet Culture)
Being Passionate About What She Does
“The 355 is the term for the group of women who work behind the scenes in intelligence, doing things we didn’t even know were possible. The point of the movie is to celebrate women in espionage. There are some extensive fight scenes in the film, and I wanted the actors to have the opportunity to do it all. Lupita has a really fun fight scene. Diane is so good — she’s tough, riding her motorcycle. Sometimes we get typecast, and I felt it was important to show that this person can do this and this too.
That’s something I’ve thought about in terms of movies I’ve done, like Interstellar, playing the physicist who solves the equation of gravity. Or The Martian, where I was the commander of the mission to Mars. Those images of women in media are incredibly important to me. In the last five years or so, I’ve asked myself, ‘What am I choosing? Am I showing women in a light that is different from what has been shown? How can I move the conversation forward?’ I was doing it in particular for young girls. But it’s important to do it for young boys as well. Because boys and men should be comfortable seeing women in these roles. Otherwise, we’re denying them the realization that the feminine is powerful and strong.”
Finding a Way to Spur Change
“I want to use whatever platform I’m given to amplify someone who doesn’t have a platform. I’ve always felt it was irresponsible to allow another person to be ignored, bullied, or unheard. I don’t want to live in a world where something like that is okay.
I started out in acting by choosing projects that let me explore experiences I wanted to have personally, or those that would help me grow as an artist. Then I felt that I had to be more socially responsible with the projects I chose. That doesn’t mean all the movies are great or even good, but it does mean that I’m trying to put images out there that challenge a preconceived notion or system or a stereotype of what a woman is.
That’s how I have been approaching any kind of activism: doing it rather than wishing it. You can talk about something; you can wish it to happen. But at a certain point, what can you do that actually shifts the conversation? For me, it’s about the action of doing.”
Update: January 17.
I just added the scans from Shape magazine. Be sure to check out the photo gallery to enjoy.
Adoring Jessica Chastain has some new changes. As everyone can see there is now a new domain (Jessica-Chastain.Net), and also a new design both on the home page and in the photo gallery. I hope you all like it as much as I do!
You can still access the site from the old domain for a while, but as a suggestion, I tell you to update the URL in your bookmarks bar so you don’t miss any updates from Jessica.
Soon I will also add a video archive to the fansite, so stay tuned to the site!
Universal’s “The 355,” a female-led heist thriller starring Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o and Diane Kruger, has pushed its release date back a year.
The movie was initially set to open in theaters on Jan. 15, 2021, and will now debut on Jan. 14, 2022.
Simon Kinberg directed “The 355” from a script he wrote with Theresa Rebeck. The globe-trotting espionage thriller follows a group of international spies — a brigade that also includes Penelope Cruz and Fan Bingbing — who team up to stop a potentially world-altering event. Together, the five women form a faction called “355,” a nod to the assembly of female spies that united during the American Revolution. Edgar Ramirez and Sebastian Stan round out the cast.
Universal Pictures nabbed “The 355” after it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. The studio reportedly paid more than $20 million for domestic distribution rights.
Like every Hollywood studio, Universal has been forced to shake up the release calendar numerous times during the pandemic.
The old adage goes, if you want a thing done well, do it yourself. That’s the approach Jessica Chastain has taken with The 355 – an all-new spy team movie that sees her unite with the likes of Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, Penelope Cruz, and Fan Bingbing in the name of international espionage. Except, the concept of an all-female spy team wasn’t something Chastain has seen done badly, per se, more that it hadn’t really been done properly. While former X-Men boss Simon Kinberg is director and co-writer on The 355, one of the driving forces behind the project has been Chastain herself, working behind the scenes as a producer, as well as placing CIA agent Mason ‘Mace’ Brown on screen.
“Instead of waiting for studios to do it, I think we have to take matters into our own hands,” she tells Empire in the new issue. “I thought, ‘What if I call a bunch of incredible actresses who I have always wanted to work with, and we all show up at Cannes together to raise the financing for the picture?’ So that’s what we did.”
With the aforementioned roster of co-stars, The 355 looks set to introduce a global spy team in which each member brings something different to the table. “I grew up in an era of spy films that felt really nationalistic, really insular,” Chastain explains. “I want to move away from nationalism. [In espionage] it’s a benefit to be diverse. Everyone’s uniqueness is their superpower. That’s why we chose the story we chose and the actors we chose.”
Read the full story about how Chastain willed The 355 into being by clicking here.
When Jessica Chastain received the MVP Award at the 2015 Critics Choice Awards for her performance in “Interstellar,” she spoke up about the lack of roles and stories for women across the industry. During a press conference following her speech, the actor-producer was asked, “What are your plans now on creating inclusivity?” That sparked the idea of founding her production company, Freckle Films.
“I went ‘well, okay, here I go. I need to put my money where my mouth is, and I need to start creating a company that will offer some opportunities for women and also highlight the stories that perhaps have been unheard and invisible,’” she said during a Variety Power of Women: Conversations event, presented by Lifetime and moderated by Kate Aurthur.
Last year, her company produced its first feature film, “The 355,” (now slated to debut in January 2021) that boasts actors including Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Chastain.
The project was first introduced to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, when Chastain found herself surrounded by action film posters featuring all-male ensembles. She looked around and said to her manager, “I have longed to work with other actresses. There’s so many people that I admire, but it feels like the industry doesn’t want us in a room together. Why do they never make stories with a group of women?”
So when casting “The 355,” Chastain put together a wish list of women actors she had hoped to collaborate with. “Everyone that I had asked to be a part of it were excited to be a part of it,” she said. “I said ‘the only thing is if you say yes, you’re the owner of the film which means you have to come to Cannes to sell the film’ — and they did.”
Kelly Carmichael, president of production at Freckle Films, explained that the creative process focused on providing opportunities for women actors to build characters they were interested in portraying in a spy film.
“Penélope Cruz, for example, had mentioned to us that she often had gotten stereotyped as this feisty Latina woman, and she wanted to play something else that showed another side of her personality that we haven’t seen her explore on screen,” added Chastain, pointing out that it was important for them to push against such typecasting practices.
Looking to the future, Chastain and Carmichael believe there are many more stories to tell with women actors and creatives. Reflecting on her initiative to produce movies, Chastain encouraged others to act toward the changes they hope to see: “You need to empower yourself, and you need to ask yourself what you can do in any industry. If you feel like there are injustice or there are flaws in a system you’re working in, change it; do what you can. Start making changes and people will follow.”