Watch here: Jessica chastain wants to hollywood change
She’s played a CIA analyst in Zero Dark Thirty, a housewife in The Help and is about to be seen as a ruthless lobbyist in political thriller Miss Sloane.
But having worked in the industry for well over a decade, Chastain says she remains disappointed by many aspects of Hollywood.
The actress spoke during a visit to London last week, and shared her thoughts on what exactly needs to change.
1) Some film critics need to open their minds
2) Learning lines needs to be second nature to actors
3) More films with female ensemble casts need to be made
4) Actors need a little less conversation
5) Audiences need to be challenged
she says, “I had a lot of problems with Zero Dark Thirty and some reviews of Miss Sloane,”
“And I want to go back to those people and say Elizabeth Sloane is a woman, so that makes her feminine…!
“Femininity for each person is whatever they define it to be, and to say that femininity is to be soft, kind, loving, compassionate and weak, and masculinity is aggression, power, ambition and strength – [we’re in] 2017 and we need to move away from that.”
“My technique is working hard,” she says simply. “So on the weekends before I go into my work week I spend my entire day working on a script…
“I couldn’t search for my lines, it had to be cold, it had to be second nature, and the only way to get that is to spend the hours doing it.”
“So I think we need to acknowledge that movies with female ensembles have a greater chance of making money than movies with male ensembles, and it’s because the audience wants diversity in their storytelling – they want stories they haven’t seen before.”
“I think there’s a lot of talk going on, but if you’re part of the industry you’re part of the problem, so you need to put your talk into action,” she says.
“It’s not enough to say ‘Oh there’s a wage gap’ and ‘Oh only 7% of American film directors are women’, you have to say, ‘Well if I’m part of the industry I’m part of the problem, what can I do to help?’.
“And so I’m doing whatever I can to work with female film-makers. I’m always speaking up whenever I see an injustice. I’m always doing whatever I can to create opportunities for people who haven’t had a voice in American cinema…!
“I was really excited about playing the smartest person in the room, I knew it was going to be a big challenge,” Chastain says of the role.
“I liked to play a character who shattered a stereotype of what a woman is supposed to be.
“I think an audience isn’t used to seeing a woman who isn’t a caregiver. Society expects women to be the nurturers of their families and to be mothers and to want that – and Elizabeth Sloane doesn’t want that..!