Filed Appearances & Events

College reunion! Watch Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Anthony Mackie, and more reminisce

EW reunited the Juilliard Drama School alumni with founding faculty member Moni Yakim, who is the subject of the new documentary, Creating a Character: The Moni Yakim Legacy.

What do Oscar Isaac, Kevin Kline, Anthony Mackie, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Urie all have in common?

Besides being great actors, they all studied at Juilliard Drama School under founding faculty member Moni Yakim, who is the subject of the new documentary, Creating a Character: The Moni Yakim Legacy, which is now available streaming in virtual cinemas. In honor of the documentary, which was produced by Kali Wilder, Alma Har’el, and Boaz Yakin, EW staged a  virtual school reunion.

We gathered Isaac, Kline, Mackie, Chastain, Urie, Wilder, and Moni Yakim himself to reminisce about their time together at Juilliard, how the lessons they learned from Yakim continue to shape their work daily, and why they still consider him an invaluable resource when trying to hone performances in everything from projects like Inside Llewyn Davis to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“I have had a very parasitic relationship with Moni ever since coming out of school where I just any little trouble I have, which are many, I call Moni,” Isaac quipped. “One little thing can ignite Moni’s imagination, the eyes, the observation that you see and that ignites your passion and for me that’s been incredibly important, especially on those bigger movies, because it’s so easy to lose your curiosity in those situations and to take those things for granted and to feel like there’s not room for that.”

Kline summed up why all of the talent involved participated in the documentary and gathered for this roundtable. “I think teachers are, in general, under-celebrated and under-documented and should get a bit of focus now and then, especially when they’ve inspired a generation or two of performers,” he said. “What makes a gifted teacher gifted is curiosity — it’s that they have this gift of inspiring and I don’t know if it’s any more of a conscious effort than acting is for us.”

The reunion also serves as a fundraiser for the Black Arts Institute, which viewers can donate to here. Donations to the Billie Holiday Theatre for the Black Arts Institute supports students from across the country with partial or full scholarships to the program, which in partnership with The Stella Adler Studio of Acting, engages young theater artists annually. The Billie and Stella Adler Studio have joined arms to address voids that are still missing in many mainstream college and university theater programs and training programs: a curriculum and theater canon, a peer group, performance experiences, and administration and faculty that fully reflect the exquisite diversity of students of African descent.

During the roundtable, Yakim spoke specifically to his connections to famous acting teacher Stella Adler, while the others reflected on how to improve equity and diversity in theatrical training, an issue specifically addressed by the Black Arts Institute.

Source: EW.com

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Filed Ava Movies

New photos from the movie “Ava”

I have added a new poster and new promotional stills of Jessica in the movie Ava. Links & previews are below, enjoy!

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Filed IT: Chapter Two Movies

IT Chapter Two: Captures + Stills

Add over 1400 HD screen captures of IT: Chapter Two, one of Jessica’s newest movies. Also, add some new promotional stills to the photo gallery. Links & previews are below, enjoy!

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Filed Ava Movies

Jessica Chastain is a rogue assassin in trailer for action movie “Ava”

The action movie Ava which will premiere on September 25 of this year, finally released the official trailer, in addition to the poster (you can see it in the photo gallery).

The film stars Jessica Chastain as a deadly assassin who works for a black ops organization, traveling the globe specializing in high profile hits. When a job goes dangerously wrong she is forced to fight for her own survival.

Ava is directed by Tate Taylor and costars John Malkovich and Colin Farrell.

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Filed Interviews

Conversations at Home with Moni Yakim & Jessica Chastain

A Q&A with Moni Yakim and Jessica Chastain on Moni’s work as a movement instructor at Juilliard where he is a founding faculty member.

Moni Yakim has taught movement at Juilliard since 1968. A new film, or rather a documentary, titled “Creating a Character: The Moni Yakim Legacy” captures his impact on scores of actors. (Available via First Run Features)

“He’s not a coddler. He demands 100 percent of you,” says Jessica Chastain.

More details can be found here: Nytimes.com

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Filed News & Articles Productions

Jessica Chastain to Produce Series Adaptation of Alice Feeney Novel “His & Hers”

Jessica Chastain’s Freckle Films, Kristen Campo, and Endeavor Content have acquired the television rights for Alice Feeney’s new novel “His & Hers.”

The novel tells the story of DCI Jack Harper and BBC newsreader Anna Andrews, whose paths cross for the first time following their divorce when a woman is found murdered in their hometown. Anna is reluctant to cover the case and Jack becomes suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.

Chastain and Kelly Carmichael will executive produce for Freckle Films, with Campo also serving as executive producer. No network or streaming service is currently attached.

This marks the second time one of Feeney’s novels has been optioned for television. Her debut work, “Sometimes I Lie,” is currently in development at Fox with producers Ellen DeGeneres and Warner Bros. Television and with Sarah Michelle Gellar attached to star.

“The last three years have been such a wonderful whirlwind and I’m still pinching myself,” Feeney said. “I’m so thrilled to be working with Jessica Chastain, Kristen Campo, and the team at Endeavor Content. I love what they have planned for ‘His & Hers,’ and I can’t wait to see Anna Andrews and Jack Harper brought to life on screen.”

Freckle Films is currently in post-production on the film “355,” a spy thriller based on an original idea by Chastain with the Oscar nominee also starring. The company is also producing Chastain’s “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” based on the documentary of the same name. Other projects include “The Division” at Netflix and a series in development at ITV and Sony Television.

Campo’s recent producing credits include “The L Word: Generation Q” at Showtime and the Apple dramas “See” and “Truth Be Told.”

The book rights were repped by ICM Partners, as well as Luke Speed of Curtis Brown on behalf of Jonny Geller of Curtis Brown. Freckle Films is repped by CAA. Campo is repped by WME.

Source: Variety.com

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Filed A Doll's House News & Articles Theater

West End Productions Starring Jessica Chastain And Emilia Clarke Have Been Postponed

An Emilia Clarke-fronted production of “The Seagull” and the Jessica Chastain-starring “A Doll’s House” have been postponed, though both actors are to return for rescheduled dates.

Producer The Jamie Lloyd Company — a partnership between Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) and artistic director Jamie Lloyd — revealed Thursday that due to the ongoing lockdown for all U.K. theater venues, Anya Reiss’ adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull“ and Frank McGuinness’s version of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” are now postponed indefinitely.

“The Seagull” was slated to run at the Playhouse Theatre from March 11 to May 30, while “A Doll’s House” was also scheduled at the Playhouse from June 10 to Sep. 5.

The Jamie Lloyd Company has said, however, that when the season reopens, Clarke will reprise her role as Nina, while Chastain has also committed to lead “A Doll’s House.”

The U.K.’s theater sector has been decimated by the coronavirus lockdown, and all venues across the country have now been shuttered for 11 weeks. The government has said the sector will be among the last to restart, with a target of July 4 set to begin reopening venues.

Lloyd said of the postponements of “The Seagull” and “A Doll’s House”: “This is, of course, an incredibly challenging time for everyone, but we are looking forward to presenting our season to audiences in the future. I’m thrilled that Emilia Clarke and Jessica Chastain will lead ‘The Seagull’ and ‘A Doll’s House’ as soon as we can get back into the theater.

Source: Variety.com

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Filed Campaigns Piaget

Piaget “Extraordinary Women” – Campaign 2020

In a new campaign, Piaget has brought together ten extraordinary women, offering a diverse and inclusive picture of the woman of today along with showcasing some exceptional high jewelry and watches. Among the women chosen by Piaget CEO Chabi Nouri is record-breaking Emirati singer and UN Champion for Women’s Rights in the Middle East (2016) Balqees Fathi. She is the first Arabic singer to appear on Saudi national television, 40 years after singers Fairouz, Sabah, and Om Kolthoum.  She is joined by Oscar nominee actor Jessica Chastain; and also Cynthia Erivo, the Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award-winning actor who performed a haunting rendition of Stand Up at this year’s Oscars wearing exceptional Piaget high jewelry. Also under the Piaget spotlight is South Korean actor Kong Hyo-Jin; Iranian and American entrepreneurs Shiva Safai and Olivia Palermo; American actor Constance Wu; Chinese visual artist Chen Man; and advocates Arianne Phillips and Carineh Martin. “We have been talking a great deal about women empowerment and what women have to do to take their role in society,” comments the CEO. “Each of these women has something extraordinary, but over and above extreme talent, they are in solidarity, supporting each other,” she says. Authenticity was another deciding factor, “They truly love our pieces, and speak very naturally of Piaget,” adds Nouri.

Click here to watch another video during the campaign photoshoot posted by Piaget on her Instagram account.

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Filed Interviews

Jessica Chastain Interviews ‘Unorthodox’ Breakout Shira Haas About Her Netflix Series

Onscreen, “Unorthodox” star Shira Haas breaks free of her restrictive upbringing to start a new life as an artist. Offscreen, she’s simply a breakout — as one the year’s most exciting rising stars.

The 24-year-old actress, who lives in Tel Aviv, portrays Esther “Esty” Shapiro on the Netflix limited series. She’s playing a story based on real life: As directed by Maria Schrader, with a largely female creative team and crew, “Unorthodox” is adapted from Deborah Feldman’s 2012 best-selling memoir “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots.”

But within a version of Feldman’s story, Haas finds something entirely new. Her work brings to mind the naivety of Carey Mulligan in “An Education” and the harder edges of Jennifer Garner from “Alias.”

On a recent afternoon, Haas spoke on a Zoom call with Jessica Chastain, her co-star in the 2017 war drama “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” about the role, how she prepared and why the show has struck a nerve.

Jessica Chastain: I’ve missed you so much. Where are you right now?

Shira Haas: I’m in Tel Aviv. It’s morning for you, isn’t it?

Chastain: Yeah, in this strange time when morning will last 12 hours.

Haas: That’s how I feel. Every day is upside down, but hopefully it will pass, like everything else.

Chastain: I loved your show. We’re here to talk about “Unorthodox,” and I am so proud of you.

Haas: It means so much for me to hear it from you. I can retire. That’s all.

Chastain: Stop it. How long was the shoot?

Haas: We started in May last year. I came like two months before for some preparation, but the shooting itself was something like four months. It was mostly in Berlin, because they kind of faked the indoor of New York in Berlin in the studios. And all the outdoors we shot in New York for like a week, because you really can’t fake New York streets in Berlin.

Chastain: I don’t think you can fake New York anywhere. Were you familiar with the book it was based on before you got the script?

Haas: I knew it. I didn’t read it, but I knew about it, because it’s such a big best seller. And after I knew it was going to happen, I read it and it only took me a few hours, and then I read it again and again. And even though the TV series is so different, some of it is really inspired by it. I took as much as I possibly can from the book.

Chastain: What were the feelings that first came to you when you read the script?

Haas: I was amazed by it. First of all, it’s very rare to have an opportunity to play such a strong and complicated lead character. To Esty, every time someone asks if I’m similar to her, I’m like: “I hope so.” I think that when I was really young, I was very curious. I always had questions. For Esty, it’s also her curse, asking too much doesn’t fit in for where she belongs.

Chastain: How did the script come to you? Was it something that was out there that you knew about, that you fought for?

Haas: I’d been told that it was for a German TV series. No one mentioned Netflix. They tried to keep it a secret. They only sent me a few scenes. I loved it. The director and the producers came to Israel to meet me. I fought for it.

Chastain: See this is crazy, because I thought while I was watching you that you must’ve naturally spoke Yiddish. But that’s something you learned for the role?

Haas: Nada. My grandparents obviously knew it, but I never heard them talk. My parents were born in Israel, so they don’t know how to speak it. I didn’t know a word. It was a very long process. I had the most amazing teacher, Eli Rosen. I recorded him and I listened to it while I was cleaning dishes or stuff like that. I went to sleep with Yiddish and woke up with Yiddish.

Chastain: One thing I really want to talk about is that the series has a female creative team — the directors, writer, producers and more. Did that impact the series for you?

Haas: Of course. Our director, Maria Schrader, is also a great actress, so it was really helpful. The director was female, the producers, the creator, the camera crew; there were so many women in this crew, which unfortunately is so rare. It’s always nice to have it, but in this specific story, it’s a story about a woman who is trying to find her voice. You can really feel the sensitivity. I really felt protected with them. I felt like they listened to me.

Chastain: Having a set that had more women on it … I’ve worked on both kind of sets and done nudity. Did you feel also when you talked about feeling protected, did you feel like your nude scene that you had in this series, did it feel like a safer environment?

Haas: Yeah, that’s not something that scares me. But it is very important to me to talk about it. For me, it’s always important to understand what’s being seen. And the fact that it was Maria, and there were female creators, really helped me to be very open about what I preferred to show, what is less comfortable for me.

Chastain: In addition to all of the research you had done months before, was there any daily ritual that you did before you got on set to play her?

Haas: Before we started shooting, I asked for the costume designer for a few — they’re called tichale, the hats that you have when you are married. I would wear it a lot. It was something in Esty’s costume that could really bring the physicality of this character. Wearing it helped me find her movement. And music always helped me. Since she had a lot of flashbacks, it was very important for me to know the chronological way of scenes and the journey that she’s going through.

Chastain: It was very clear, when watching your work, how specific it was. I imagine it wasn’t shot like this, because things are never shot like this usually. But it felt like it was shot in chronological order.

Haas: No, no — not at all. On the last day, we shot by the lake. The first day was the shaving scene.

Chastain: What was that like? Because in a sense you’re shedding Shira, right?

Haas: This is so true. That’s one heck of an opening right at the start. But then I thought that it’s good not to wait for it. I don’t need to wait and be like, “Oh my God, in 10 days it’s going to happen.” It really made me very commit to the role. It was a hardcore start, but I really understood the character. It’s only like 20 seconds of a scene. But you really have almost all of her conflict — because she’s looking forward to her married life, and she’s really excited and happy. She’s also very scared and saying goodbye to her childhood.

Chastain: How does it feel that the show has been such a success on Netflix?

Haas: I always believed in the show, and I love my character, of course. But I was not expecting that. To have such a universal love from so many different people from the U.S. and U.K., and Argentina and Israel; it’s amazing to get that love. It’s amazing so many people have seen it. Even though I’m in my home all day, I can still really feel the love. And really, it’s amazing. I’m very, very, very grateful for that, really. I truly am.

Chastain: You blew me away in this series. You blew me away when we worked together on “The Zookeeper’s Wife.” From the moment I met you, I just thought, “This is a very important actress.” Should we talk about how we met?

Haas: It was love at first sight.

Chastain: It was for me. I heard about you from Niki Caro, our director of “The Zookeeper’s Wife.” She had talked to me about your performance, how incredible of an actress you are, how you had kind of created this instinctual, emotional energy around your character. I was like, “Oh great. I’m so excited.”

Haas: When was the first time — maybe like at dinner or something? I remember the first scene we shot.

Chastain: The first thing we shot, was it the scene when I give you the blanket?

Haas: Yeah, in the cages downstairs.

Chastain: I remember, and perhaps it’s good that we don’t remember the first time we met, because in that scene I’m trying to get you to talk to me, to open up to me. So I remember sitting there and studying you as you were doing that scene, and really seeing what an actress you are. In our profession, we’re thrown into these situations, with people we don’t know. You’re hoping that someone is going to bring something out in yourself, teach you about yourself, teach you about a scene in a new way. And you absolutely did that for me. Your work is profound. I knew it that day working with you for the first time. I see it talking to you, and I see it in all of your work.

Haas: You are so supportive and such a huge role model, but also a partner. And thank you for that. I mean, what the hell? You are the best.

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Filed Ava Movies

Ava: Promotional Stills

Fortunately for us, film studios finally started sharing new information about their projects.
A few days ago, a Russian page shared new promotional stills about the spy thriller “Ava”. Check below the previews and the link to go to the album in the photo gallery. Enjoy!

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