Why I love…Jessica Chastain

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When I gave this blog a reboot about a week ago, my aim was to make it more a reflection of my self. Well, like me, I have plans and ideas but then they change. So, in light of that, Freedom Friday has changed to be a lot more free. Every week, you may see a post where I just ramble about a bunch of different things, or it may be like this, entitled ‘Why I love…’. Enjoy!

Because..well…who else was the first installment of this going to be about? 😛

I love press tours for my favourite actors. Why? Because they get to be EVERYWHERE. There’s loads of interviews with funny moments, stories and plenty of excellent wisdom to be found. And really, no one does interviews better than Jessica Chastain, who is one of my idols. Some just go through the motions with interviews, firing off the same answers and not fully engaging with the interviewer. Jessica, on the other hand? She does press unlike anyone I’ve ever seen. She is so refreshingly candid and real and above all, makes it feel like she’s talking to you. 

She does press so differently, every interview is so different from the other that you just have to watch every interview because she literally never repeats anything she’s said before. She doesn’t just make interviews a puff piece for the film, but actually uses the publicity to talk about important topics. But, this isn’t just why I love Jessica. Earlier this week, I was reminded for the upteenth time why I love and respect and admire this woman as much as I do. In an interview for the November issue of Glamour (which is one of three magazines with her on the cover I have to find when they finally come to Australia), she said this, which warrants the praying hands emoji, to be honest:

“I’m really, really supportive of women in Hollywood. I love Meryl Streep. She’s such an incredible actress. But I feel like she’s the only one in her age group who gets those parts. I’d like to see Jessica Lange in a movie again, you know? Or Susan Sarandon. Why isn’t Viola Davis a lead in a film? She’s one of the greatest actresses alive,” she said of her fellow famous starlets.

“And where are the Asian actors and actresses? I’m not saying, ‘We don’t want movies about men.’ I’m just saying, ‘Come on, all the men I know love women. So let’s also have some stories about these women. Let’s write something for them, guys — and let’s make room for women writers, too.’

“I think to play a female hero without faults is actually doing a disservice to women. I think it’s more interesting to see women on-screen with flaws. Then it’s not this unreasonable expectation that society then would put on you: ‘Well, a strong women can’t be like this …'”

Like…seriously. I want to print that out and send it to every major studio, especially after this brain-numbing Variety headline last week:

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Like…seriously? How long ago did we work this out? Did everyone just suffer from collective amnesia? How long ago did we work that…wait…you mean that films that AREN’T the millionth $100 mil+ blow-em-up blockbuster, that appeal to 12 year old boys, actually do well? You mean if we make something that isn’t just the equivalent of being beaten around the head for 90 minutes, WOMEN WILL GO SEE IT? Like, seriously. Studios, act on this, actually do something about it, and move on, making it the new normal. It’s not new information, thank you.

But I’m getting off track. I can rant about collective amnesia another time. This statement isn’t an anomaly from Jessica. Only a couple of weeks ago, she said this:

“Where is the Scarlett Johansson superhero movie? I don’t understand it, why is it taking so long for this? … This woman clearly shows that people want to go see her in the movies. Lucy, didn’t it beat Hercules by a lot opening weekend, when it was made for a lot less? She shows that she kicks ass, she’s a great actress. Under the Skin is an incredible film, and why are we still waiting for a go-ahead on a superhero movie starring Scarlett Johansson?”

and in the past she’s said things like this:

“I always try to play characters who are very different from what I am. If the character was a good swimmer or a diver, I’d be interested because in my real life, I am totally scared of water. I would immediately feel compelled to do it because I’m always trying to tackle any fear I have. I don’t want my life to be controlled by fear, whether it’s the fear of being rejected, fear of being loved; I want to run my life with open arms. Also, I never want to play the same character twice. To me, that’s soul crushing.”

Seriously, I want to print off most of the things she’s said and stick them all over my bedroom wall, so I can be reminded like ten times a day of all the inspirational things she’s said that I need to remember.

When I look back on my senior year of high school and all the things that got me through it as well as I did, two things immediately spring to mind: the Before films (thanks Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke) and Jessica. I have watched certain long interviews countless times, whether to calm me down or make me smile or encourage me to keep going. Whether in her characters or in real life, she connects with people, reaching through the screen and pulling you into the world of the film or wherever the interview is taking place, putting you in the middle of it, making you feel like she’s having a conversation with you, allowing you to escape what’s happening to you.

She has taught me so much, about life and work and the worth in continuing to be hardworking, helping me find meaning in the perseverance and work, and I see some of myself in her. Her amazing career shows that even when things look impossible, dreams do come true, which is something I need to be reminded of constantly. Hard work does in fact lead to something, that someone will listen one day. That IT IS possible to have a job that you love, where you love the work that you get to do.

Here, have some gifs of Jessica being amazing.

She is just so down to earth and eloquent and passionate about film (like I am), you can tell that she loves nothing more than talking about the things she loves and talking about the films and actors she adores, not caring about what everyone else is doing, and, above all, there’s nothing more important that the people around you that mean a lot to you, that know your true self. All that is important is being yourself, loving what you love, and being present.

Her kindness speaks volumes about her personality. She is just joy and passion personified. She continues to inspire me everyday and even though I’ve never met her and doesn’t know this, she’s made me feel like I wasn’t alone or my dreams are futile. To not be afraid to experiment, to try different things until I find what works best. She brings light, hope, and happiness to my life, making me feel strong and fearless, and (this all sounds really lame, but it’s the truth, so, whatever) I owe so much of my success to her. Now, I’m going to leave you with one of my favourite quotes from her, which could, really, be a reason why I get so immersed in watching and analysing and loving films:

“Acting, for me, is about exploring things I don’t understand in myself.”

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2 thoughts on “Why I love…Jessica Chastain

  1. Love this post! Lovely to see how much Jessica has inspired you – I really hope you get to meet her one day 😀 She is such a wonderful actress and seems like such a genuine person, as you have eloquently articulated in this awesome post 🙂

  2. Thank you so much Debbie! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Aww, you’re so sweet 😀 I hope I do to, even though I don’t know how I’d react if I did. Again, thank you 🙂

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