After Blackbeard, Jessica made a couple more TV guest appearances and did another play, but her major work became movies. According to Jessica, her first eleven movies were filmed in this order: Wilde Salome, Stolen, Jolene, The Tree of Life, The Debt, Coriolanus, The Texas Killing Fields, Take Shelter, The Help, The Burial, and The Wettest County in the World. However, due to various factors (often serious delays), the movies released in a considerably different order. She says, "I had made 11 movies before one came out in the movie theatre. I thought there was a Chastain curse."
Jessica is rumored to be in some films, but is not yet confirmed. Those films are:
Crimson Peak (no date)
Jessica's role is not released
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
With Emma Stone, Charlie Hunnam, and Benedict Cumberbatch
Announced 04-05-13; to begin shooting early 2014
Last year, del Toro wrote about the film, "It's set at the turn of the century and it is a gothic romance with ghosts. When I use the GR term I use it not in the Barbara Cartland model but rather in a Bronte fashion. Dark and stormy and wind-swept." The story is a about a woman who discovers her husband might not be who he appears to be. It is uncertain whether Jessica or Emma plays the main character.
Legendary is financing the film, but Universal Pictures retains an option to join Legendary as a financier. Del Toro wrote the script with Matthew Robbins; Lucinda Coxon recently did a rewrite.
So far, films scheduled for 2014 release are American Darling (no date) and Miss Julie (fall). Jessica stars in both films.
American Darling (2014)
Jessica is Hannah Musgrave, the main character
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Novel Synopsis: The story is about Hannah Musgrave, a member of the politically radical Weather Underground who is pursued by the FBI. On the run, she escapes to the African nation of Liberia and marries Woodrow Sundiata, a Cabinet Minister of that country. She also creates a sanctuary for chimpanzees. The story is set against twenty-five years of political struggle and civil war in Liberia.
See two-minute of author Russell Banks discussing the process of adapting the novel to a screenplay.
Points of interest:
Miss Julie (fall 2014)
Jessica plays Miss Julie
Directed by Liv Ullman; written by August Strindberg
With Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton
Announced 10-16-12; confirmed 01-30-13; to be filmed at Castle Coole, Fermanagh, Ireland; began shooting 04-09-13
On October 16, 2012 Jessica told the New York Observer, 'I'm all about research. Hopefully, next year, I'm going to play Miss Julie, and I'm going to see as many versions of Miss Julie as I can get my hands on.' Miss Julie is a one-act tragedy written by August Strindberg in 1888. There have been a number of performances of the play, including two on Broadway (1913 and 1962) and seven on film and television. Some who have played the character of Miss Julie are Manda Bjorling (1912) and Helen Mirren (1972).
Most of the film will be shot at Castle Coole, Fermanagh, Ireland. Castle Coole was designed by James Wyatt and completed in 1798. The mansion served as the home of the Earls of Belmore.
Synopsis: Miss Julie inherited the primitive, intense passion of her mother and the neurotic aristocratic tendencies of her father. Added to this heritage is the call of the wild...Miss Julie feels...that the barrier of rank reared through the ages, by wealth and power, is not flung aside with impunity. Therein the vicious brutality, the boundless injustice of rank. The people on the estate of Julie's father are celebrating St. John's Eve with dance, song and revelry. The Count is absent, and Julie graciously mingles with the servants. But once having tasted the simple abandon of the people, once having thrown off the artifice and superficiality of her aristocratic decorum, her suppressed passions leap into full flame, and Julie throws herself into the arms of her father's valet, Jean -- not because of love for the man, nor yet openly and freely, but as persons of her station may do when carried away by the moment. The woman in Julie pursues the male, follows him into the kitchen, plays with him as with a pet dog, and then feigns indignation when Jean, aroused, makes advances...when Kristin, the betrothed of Jean, discovers that her mistress Julie had given herself to him, she is indignant that her lady should have so much forgotten her station as to stoop to her father's valet.
Points of interest:
So far, films scheduled for 2013 release are: Mama (January 18) and the companion films The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Hers (no date) and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His (no date). Awards Watch: Jessica is the starring actress in all three films.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Hers (2013)
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His (2013)
Jessica is Eleanor Rigby
Written and directed by Ned Benson
With James McAvoy, Viola Davis, Isabelle Huppert, Jess Weixler, William Hurt, and Ciarin Hinds
Announced 02-02-12; began shooting July 2012
Jessica Chastain and McAvoy will star in this double-feature project. One movie tells the story from the perspective of the wife who has returned to college; the other is from the husband's viewpoint. Some sources indicate that it has a 1930's Depression era setting. The two movies are meant to be shown separately, so that viewers can choose which to see first. It comes to us from Myriad Pictures and is directed by Ned Benson (In Defiance of Gravity). Whether there is a connection to the Eleanor Rigby of the Beatles is not known. See the Beatles lyrics here.
The cast seems to be a Jessica Chastain dream team. Jessica shares on her facebook page that her best friend Jess Weixler plays her sister [Katy Rigby] in the movie. Viola Davis, Jessica's Oscar-winning cast-mate from The Help, is with her and there are rumors that The Debt's Ciarin Hinds is casted as well. By far the most exciting for Jessica must be that her idol Isabelle Huppert is in the film. With all her friends and heroes on board, she should have a wonderful adventure. One wonders if perhaps she had some input into the casting!
At the release of the first images from the Eleanor Rigby set, a number of news writers reported that Jessica had cut her hair for the film. This is not the case; Jessica informs us on facebook that she is wearing a wig (she does look cute, though, with short, red hair). Later, she told another fan on facebook that she is keeping it! Jessica also answered a question on facebook regarding the scheduling conflict between her two projects. She says, 'I finish Eleanor Rigby the last week of Aug, and then start rehearsals the first week of September for The Heiress....not much of a break, but thank goodness they don't overlap.'
Points of interest:
No upcoming release dates at this time.
Mama (January 18, 2013)
Jessica plays Annabel
Written by Andres and Barbara Muschietti; and directed by Andres Muschietti; produced by Guillermo del Toro
With Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, and Isabelle Nelisse
Announced 07-19-11; began filming October 3, 2011 in Toronto
Horror giant Guillermo Del Toro is producing the project for Universal Pictures. See the of original short (3:35) introduced by Guillermo del Toro. Read a review of the original short. Mama . The second released is similar to the first, but a few parts are deleted and a few added; it is even scarier than the first trailer. See the Mama TV spot, four more clips, ten photos, and ten more photos. See a 4:56 of Jessica discussing Mama and a 2:28 featurette. Guillermo Del Toro talks about Mama and casting Jessica Chastain.
Jessica shared with an interviewer, "I've done an experiment, and it's working for me. I heard Johnny Depp has an earwig [headphones], and sometimes he listens to music during a scene. So I asked the director if I could wear one for all of my scary scenes and have them play this really terrifying music in my ear. That's how it's gonna be in the scene anyway, right?"
Points of interest:
Films slated for 2012 release are: Coriolanus (January 20), Madagascar 3 (June 8), Lawless (August 31), and Zero Dark Thirty (December 19). In addition, Jessica has a Broadway play, The Heiress, in the fall.
Awards Watch: Jessica is a supporting actress in Lawless, but she has the starring role in Zero Dark Thirty, which began generating Oscar buzz several months before its release. Madagascar 3 in an animated film. Coriolanus opened for one week in December 2011, so it was part of the 2011 award season.
On October 24 it was announced that Zero Dark Thirty would be campaigning Jessica for the Best Actress Oscar. Jessica was nominated and appeared to be the front runner for several weeks, but she did not win the award on Oscar night.
Zero Dark Thirty (December 19, 2012) December 19 limited release, with wide release on January 11.
Previous title: Kill bin Laden
Jessica stars as Maya, a CIA intelligence analyst
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
With Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton and Mark Strong
Announced 01-05-12; began filming February 2012 (about three months) in Jordan and India
Kathryn Bigelow directed Hurt Locker and teamed up with Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal on this project as well. In planning since 2008, the filmscript was originally an adaptation of the book Kill Bin Laden (by Dalton Fury?), which chronicles the US attempts to capture the leader of Al Qaeda in the battle of Tora Bora in late 2001. But, as events changed, the script changed until it became an account of the search for Osama bin Laden and the assault on his compound in Pakistan that resulted in bin Laden's death.
See a 1:14 teaser. It does not tell us much, so it is not really a trailer. But see the later 2:15 full .
There was also a report that she would portray a field intelligence analyst who assists the SEAL Team, but we were told she would not be one of the SEAL Team members, but that her role will require intensive training.
Some pointed out that there is in the script a female reporter embedded with Navy SEAL Team 6, and postulated that this might be Jessica's character instead.
In a September 2012 interview, Charles McGrath asked Jessica to comment on the fact that she had the leading role in this film about men. He sounded as though he had specific inside information on this hush-hush topic. She responded that she could not comment on his question, but she could say that she was there for a long time shooting, that most of the actors played real people, and that her part was awesome. This possibility seems more likely in light of the full released on October 11; Jessica is all over it. On November 20, a new poster was released that essentially confirmed it; Jessica was the only face on the poster and the tagline read: FOR TEN YEARS ONE WOMAN NEVER STOPPED SEARCHING FOR THE MOST WANTED MAN IN HISTORY. About a week later, the first of the movie erased all doubt. Also see the final 2:33 released in mid-December.
Accepting a role in this movie created a scheduling conflict with Jessica's previously announced project, Horizons (or Oblivion), with Tom Cruise that was to begin shooting March 12, so Jessica dropped out of Horizons.
There have been a number of controversies surrounding Zero Dark Thirty. For example, since August 2011, as to whether Bigelow and Boal had access to inside classified information regarding the Obama Administration's mission in preparing the script. The Pentagon investigated charges made to that effect by Rep. Peter King, chair of the House of Representatives homeland security committee. In any case, Sony Pictures scheduled a December 19 release in an apparent attempt to avoid the presidential election season. Republicans were concerned that the planned October release would provide President Obama a home-stretch boost in the election. As it turns out, Obama does not factor into the story and the tone of the movie is not particularly favorable toward him.
A second controversy opened when US Senators Feinstein, Levin, and McCain sent a letter to Sony accusing Zero Dark Thirty of falsely portraying torture as effective in the hunt of bin Laden, which Sony and the Zero Dark Thirty team denied. Among observers, debate ran hot on both sides of the issue. Judicial Watch filed a reply brief with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeking access to the names of the five CIA bin Laden raid operatives disclosed by the Obama Department of Defense and the CIA to Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal.
There were also questions on whether the torture was depicted accurately. Acting CIA Director Morell stated that Zero Dark Thirty was a dramatization taking significant artistic license. Lawmakers accused the CIA of misleading Zero Dark Thirty regarding harsh methods. Again there was heated debate on both sides of the issue. Anti-torture protestors demonstrated at the Washington, DC movie premiere.
In the aftermath of Islamic violence following the release of Innocence of the Muslims, the insensitive film about Muhammad, people began to question whether Zero Dark Thirty might spark a similar backlash.
The Medal of Honor: Warfighter game has a tie-in with a Zero Dark Thirty map pack, inspired by the Darra Gun Market and Chitral Compound to accompany its Medal of Honor: Warfighter launch on October 23rd, 2012, for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. See the promotional video. It too drew controversy. Seven members of Navy SEAL Team 6, including one involved in the mission to get Osama bin Laden, were punished for disclosing classified information to the maker of the video game. The seven received punitive letters of reprimand and partial forfeiture of pay for two months, which actions generally hinder careers. Four other SEALs are under investigation for similar alleged violations.
Zero Dark Thirty began to receive Oscar buzz early on. As the awards season heated up, so did the attention to Zero Dark Thirty. Once the promotional packages were received by critics, the movie raced toward the top of the year's best works, especially for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress. By January 8, Zero Dark Thirty had garnered sixty awards including 18 for Best Actress (Jessica), 13 for Best Film, and 13 for Best Director (Kathryn Bigelow). See more at Jessica Chastain Awards.
When Academy Award nominations were announced on January 10, Zero Dark Thirty picked up five nominations for: Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Best Actress, Sound Editing, and Film Editing. However, Kathryn Bigelow was not nominated in the Best Director Category. Oscar winners will be revealed on February 24.
See the official Zero Dark Thirty website, facebook page, a 5:38 special on Nightline, and Zero Dark Thirty . Listen to the movie score by Alexandre Desplat. See Jessica's 4:22 interview about Zero Dark Thirty.
Points of interest:
Lawless (August 29, 2012) UK September 7
Previous title: The Wettest County in the World
Jessica plays Maggie
Directed by John Hillcoat
With Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman, Mia Wasikowska, and Guy Pearce
Announced 12-13-10; 43 days of filming in Peachtree, Georgia began on February 28, 2011
Jessica says, “I play a gun moll from Chicago in the 1930s who ends up in the south with these three brothers who are selling moonshine. It’s a fight between them and the police. My character has a romance with Tom Hardy’s character." Apparently, things get a bit 'steamy' between them. Jessica said regarding Tom Hardy, "He’s fantastic in the film! It’s an absolute transformation. You learn something from every actor that you work with. Tom is good at making the unexpected choice."
Maggie's character: Maggie had a hard luck upbringing. As a teenager, she was sent from her home in rural Virginia to Carolina to work in a textile mill. A few years later, to pay off family debt following the death of her father, she took work as a cook at the County Line Restaurant in Franklin County, Virginia, which was eventually bought by Forrest Bondurant. She later went with Forrest when he bought the Blackwater Station, working the grill and helping the infamous Bondurant brothers with their local bootlegging operation. Maggie was tough and loyal, but reserved, and the exact nature of her relationship with the stoic Forrest remains the subject of speculation.
At the Cannes Film Festival in May 2011, Wettest County started a bidding war for U.S. distribution rights which was won by The Weinstein Company for almost $5 million. See Jessica's Good Morning America interview for Lawless. Jessica talks about Lawless in a 3:00 . Jessica 2:31 minute interview for Lawless. Jessica and Tom in :58 clip plus two other clips. Five more short clips. Two featurettes. ; Newer (some nudity); ; website. See a 2:12 featurette.
Lawless premiered at the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival as one of twenty-two films competing for the coveted Palme d’Or award at the festival’s finale on May 27. The winner was director Michael Haneke's Amour.
Points of interest:
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (June 8, 2012)
Jessica is the voice of Gia, the circus jaguar
Directed by Eric Darnell
With Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, and David Schwimmer
Entertainment Weekly announced that Jessica is the voice of Gia the circus jaguar. Gia is thoughtful and beautiful. "Alex can’t help but be swayed by her," says director Darnell. Conrad Vernon states that, "Gia acts as a moral compass for the circus. She protects [her friends] but also opens them up to new experiences." Darnell and Vernon listened to audio recordings of the actors’ prior work to determine whether they matched the character's personality and quirks. Jessica worked with an Italian coach to develop an authentic accent for Gia. another extended preview video clips website. Children's books were developed in conjunction with the movie as well as video games.
Madagascar 3 premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival in May 2012. It opened in the USA on June 8 in the number one spot at over sixty million dollars; Prometheus opened at number two with fifty million dollars. In Russia, Madagascar 3 broke all opening records for an animated film.
Coriolanus (January 20, 2012) Limited USA release plus UK and India; there was a one-week early release in NY and LA on December 2, 2011 to qualify for 2011 awards
Jessica plays Coriolanus' wife Virgilia
Directed by Ralph Fiennes based on Shakespeare's play
With Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, and Vanessa Redgrave
Two hours and two minutes
Announced 10-22-09; filming began mid-March 2010 in Belgrade, Serbia
Awards: Best Supporting Actress Awards (Vanessa Redgrave) from the British Independent Awards and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Jessica talks about Coriolanus, Ralph Fiennes, and Vanessa Redgrave in this 17:35 interview in Toronto. She credits Fiennes for keeping her in the cast at a time when a better-known star could help raise financing for the film. She clarifies that at the time they were shooting Coriolanus, having Jessica Chastain in a film wouldn't buy you lunch.
Items of interest:
Films released in 2011 were: The Tree of Life (May 27), The Help (August 10), The Debt (August 31), Take Shelter (September 30), and Texas Killing Fields (October 14). Coriolanus had a one-week early release in NY and LA on December 2 in order to qualify for 2011 awards, but its normal release was January 20, 2012.
Awards Watch: Jessica was a supporting actress is all her 2011 movies. Both Tree of Life and The Help garnered considerable attention from critics and film festivals; Take Shelter and The Debt did so to a lesser degree. Jessica personally received numerous awards for Best Supporting Actress and Breakthrough Artist, and she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. See details at Jessica Chastain Awards and Festivals.
The Texas Killing Fields (October 14, 2011) Limited release beginning in three theaters in New York and Los Angeles
Jessica is Detective Pam Stall, estranged wife of Sam Worthington's character
Directed by Ami Canaan Mann
With Sam Worthington and Chloe Moretz
Two hours and thirteen minutes
Announced 03-23-10; began filming May 3, 2010 in Louisiana
Awards: Some awards shared with other movies
Points of interest:
Take Shelter (September 30, 2011) Limited release beginning in three theaters in New York and Los Angeles (see other cities); UK on November 25
Jessica plays Samantha LaForche
Written and directed by Jeff Nichols
With Michael Shannon and Shea Whigham.
Two hours and two minutes
Filmed in 24 days in June and July of 2010, primarily in Lorain County, Ohio
Awards: Grand Prize in Critics Week Competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and others too numerous to list here
The Blu-ray was released on February 14, 2012.
Points of interest:
The Debt (August 31, 2011) Canada on August 31; UK on September 21
Jessica portrays the young Rachel Singer, a Mossad agent
Directed by John Madden
With Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, and Tom Wilkinson
Announced 10-02-08; filmed in Tel Aviv, the U.K., and Budapest
One hour and fifty-one minutes
Awards: Best Equality of the Sexes Award from the Women's Film Critics Circle and some awards shared with other movies
When finishing the shoot for Tree of Life, Jessica says, "I was absolutely devastated, just emotionally so sad. I got on a plane and flew to Paris to take a French course because I needed a change of scenery." During the trip she met with Shakespeare In Love director John Madden on a stop in London to discuss a role in The Debt.
The Debt opened on Labor Day weekend 2011 and came in at the #2 position on the charts with $11,810,913. The #1 movie was another Jessica Chastain film, The Help, which was in its fourth week. Some thought that Jessica's popularity in The Help provided a boost to The Debt in its first week. Early announcements were that the film would open on February 18, 2010 in Greece; September 2, 2010 in Argentina; and September 4, 2010 in France, but Disney's sale of Miramax delayed those dates. The Blu-ray and DVD are available on December 6, 2011.
Early reviews from film festivals and foreign releases were positive, with Jessica getting praise. After the American release, reviews continued to be generally positive with a lot of focus on Jessica's performance. Some even said that anyone expecting to see a Helen Mirren film would discover it to be Jessica Chastain film. There was some criticism regarding the believability of the actors sharing younger and older roles of the same character. Most said the Chastain/Mirren combination as Rachel worked very well, though some disagreed. Most of the dissatisfaction was with the male roles, particularly Worthington and Hinds as David. Chastain Central liked the film very much. Jessica did an outstanding job and once more demonstrated that she can play a wide range of characters. More .
Points of interest:
The Help (August 10, 2011) UK on October 28
Jessica is Celia Foote
Written and directed by Tate Taylor based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett
With Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, and Bryce Dallas Howard
Two hours and seventeen minutes
Awards: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer) and others too numerous to list here
With a blonde wig and a padded bosom, Jessica portrays Celia Foote from Sugar Ditch, Mississippi in this DreamWorks' adaptation of the best-selling Kathryn Stockett novel. In this all-female ensemble cast, she is a redneck and town pariah--an insecure Southern lady trying to fit in with the high society women who reject her. She also secretly takes on a black maid to impress her husband. Jessica says that Celia is "This girl from Tennessee, who looks like Marilyn Monroe, has this really squeaky accent and no one wants to be her friends because…she’s like liquid sex." After winning the part, Jessica saw a curvy woman at a party and decided at once to model her Celia after her. Only later did she discover the woman was author Kathryn Stockett's mother.
Jessica's part provides most of the humor of the movie. She says it was her first venture into comedy. The story centers on a young, white, female journalist who turns her early 1960s Mississippi community upside down by interviewing black maids working in white households. This was Jessica's first studio film, and it was quite a different experience to be told the film was coming out on a specific date. With the other films, there was no idea. another website
The Help was very well received by critics, though some expressed disappointment in an inadequate portrayal of the depth of the historical situation. Most book fans felt it was true to the book, even if it did have to leave out a lot. Quite a number praised Jessica specifically for her acting and her faithful interpretation of Celia Foote. Chastain Central thought this was her best part yet. See
Jessica revealed to Marie Claire in December 2012 that she almost decided against going to a screen test. 'While shooting Texas Killing Fields in Louisiana, she was asked to fly to L.A. on her only day off to screen test for The Help. She'd already had several auditions and had grown weary of the process. "It had been stretched out for so long, and I thought it was because I wasn't the right look, you know? I didn't look like Celia Foote, so there was a moment when I was like, 'I'm not going to go. They clearly don't want me for this part. It's my day off. I shoot all night, so I can't fly to L.A. and then fly back. I just can't do it.' But I was talked into going."'
The DVD/Blu-ray released on December 6, 2011. Bonus features include The Making of The Help, In Their Own Words (a tribute to the maids of Mississippi), Deleted Scenes, and The Living Proof music by Mary J. Blige. The Help began playing on TV's Showtime on June 24, 2012.
Points of interest:
The Tree of Life (May 27, 2011) in Los Angeles and New York; the limited release included more cities each week
Jessica plays Mrs. O'Brien, the wife of Brad Pitt's character
Written and directed by Terrence Malick
With Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Hunter McCracken
Announced 04-15-08; finished filming June 2008 after three and half months of shooting in Smithville, Texas
Two hours and eighteen minutes
Awards: The Palme d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival; a Best Actress Award and Best Supporting Actress Awards for Jessica; and others too numerous to list here
Critics and audiences were extremely polarized in their responses to Tree of Life. Many reviewers were very positive; some were effusive. They praised the scope, the cinematography, the soundtrack, the acting, the technique, the editing, the philosophical reflection, and other points. On the other hand, others complained that the film was confusing, boring, unfocused, indulgent, lengthy, pretentious, and meaningless. They also disapproved of the religious-spiritual aspects of the film. However, quite a number of people remarked that even though the film was unsatisfying at the first viewing, one tended to reflect on it afterward and arrive at a more positive conclusion. Many were just confused, and there were a number of reports of walk-outs during the film. The brothers of Chastain Central were mixed as well. One opinion was that it was a waste of time; another was that it was a thoughtful and enjoyable film worth seeing twice. The performance of Hunter McCracken was outstanding. More
Points of interest:
Films released in 2010 were: Stolen (March), Murder on the Orient Express (July), and Jolene (October). Also in this section is the TV miniseries Blackbeard broadcasted in 2006.
Jolene (October 2010) Limited release in three states
Jessica is Jolene, the main character
Directed by Dan Ireland
With Dermot Mulroney, Chazz Palminteri, Denise Richards, Donald Sutherland, and Michael Vartan
Announced 10-09-06; filmed in 2008
One hour and fifty-five minutes
Award: Golden Space Needle Award to Jessica for best actress at the 2008 Seattle Film Festival
Jessica said in her Times Talk interview that she flew to South Carolina, rented a pickup truck, and hung out at SuperWalmart so she could hear voices and get to know people who live there. She said, 'I love to go to a place and find a voice that I like.' A different
Though some critics praised this film, the general feeling seemed to be that it was not a great work. However, most agreed that Jessica did a good job portraying her character, and some said she saved the film. Some critics seemed to appreciate its independent and art characteristics. Chastain Central felt that most of the characters are flat or worse, but such may have been the intent of the director. The movie itself is B-level, bordering on exploitation. The ending is not satisfying. Though Jessica did a good job, it is good that it had a very limited release so that the general public learned of Jessica through The Tree of Life, The Help, and The Debt rather than Jolene. More .
Points of Interest
Murder on the Orient Express (July 11, 2010) TV; UK December 31, 2010
Jessica is Mary Debenham
Directed by Philip Martin
With David Suchet, Tristan Shepherd, and Sam Crane
Announced 06-25-10; filmed in Malta and London
One hour and twenty minutes
This 80-minute episode (season 12; episode 4) ran July 11, 2010 on PBS. UK on December 31, 2010. See 9:37 clip with Jessica in it. Buy the entire episode from Amazon for $4.99.
Hercule Poirot is visiting Istanbul when he witnesses an act of brutal justice on the streets. Poirot’s old acquaintance Xavier Bouc (Serge Hazanavicius), director of the Orient Express, secures him a last minute ticket. Among the eclectic range of passengers are Princess Dragomiroff (Dame Eileen Atkins) and her nervous maid Hildegard Schmidt (Susanne Lothar), English Governess Mary Debenham (Jessica Chastain) and Swedish missionary Greta Ohlsson (Marie-Josée Croze).
During his journey on the Orient Express Poirot is approached by ruthless American businessman Samuel Ratchett (Toby Jones) who offers him ten thousand dollars to watch his back, but Poirot refuses. Poirot awakes the following morning to find the train stuck in a snowdrift and Ratchett dead in his compartment.
Aided by amateur sleuth Dr Constantine (Samuel West), Poirot examines the murder scene and finds a proliferation of clues pointing in opposite directions. He interviews those who last saw Ratchett alive before realising the true identity of Samuel Ratchett. The evidence seems to point to a mysterious assassin who got on and off the train but Poirot is not convinced. Isolated by the snow and with civilisation falling apart Poirot makes a decision that will change his life forever.
Points of Interest:
Stolen (March 2010) Limited release
Jessica plays Sally Ann
Directed by Anders Anderson
With Jon Hamm, Josh Lucas, and Rhona Mitra
One hour and thirty minutes
Jessica plays a waitress who appears early in the film and gives a boy a whistle. She re-appears much later and we learn her true significance to the detective and to the story, but some of that scene is played by a different actress representing an older Sally Ann. The film released in the USA on March 12, 2010 at one theater in New York, with an additional theater joining in West Hollywood the next week. It garnered a total of $7,306 for the four weeks it ran. The DVD is now available. See , but Jessica is not recognizable in it. Stolen Lives is an alternative title outside the United States.
Critics were not excited by this low-budget effort of a first time writer and a first time director. Chastain Central found it to be a watchable story, but nothing to write home about. Jessica's part was important, but quite small. More
Points of interest:
Blackbeard (June 2006) Hallmark Channel TV miniseries
Jessica plays Charlotte Ormand
Directed by Kevin Conner
With Angus Macfayden, Mark Umbers, and Richard Chamberlain
Two hours and forty-nine minutes
Filming began July 25, 2005 in Thailand
Royal Navy Lieutenant Robert Maynard (Mark Umbers) vowing to capture Blackbeard (Angus Macfayden), captain of the Queen Anne, in order to make the South Seas safer, falls in love with Charlotte (Jessica Chastain), a young doctor and adopted daughter of the corrupt governor of West Indies' New Providence, Charles Eden (Richard Chamberlain), who plans to kill her for her inheritance. The DVD is now available. This performance by Jessica has not received nearly the attention it deserves. See lots of Jessica in this 10 minute clip.
Reviewers' response to Blackbeard was generally positive, and some specifically mentioned how Jessica added to the film. Chastain Central was very pleased with Blackbeard. Jessica was delightful; she played the character of a strong female in a major role very well. More .
Points of interest:
For various reasons, some movies associated with Jessica are not anticipated for theatrical release, or at least not with Jessica in them. Unity may yet release, but the date is unknown.
The Westerner (no date)
Jessica stars in this short film and is also a producer
Written and directed by Ned Benson
With Daniel Hastey and Kaili Hollister
The Westerner played at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival which ran from May 19-June 12 and at the 2011 Palm Springs International ShortFest which ran from June 21-27 at the Camelot Theatres. The 13-minute short is about a young boy (Daniel Hastey) who runs away from home and tries to find his way to a place he once visited with his mother (Jessica). On his way there, he meets interesting people. So far, the short has played only at film festivals, and there is currently no general release date.
One reviewer (rawsome) on IMDb reported, "Beautiful and moving! This is a short film with very little dialogue allowing you to focus on the flow and beautiful imagery. The child who plays the young boy brings a sweet vulnerability to his role and is able to communicate very well without using words. For instance, there is one scene where you just know he's pulling out the last $20 bill in his wallet. Although this story focuses on the young boy, Jessica Chastain's presence is well felt in the few scenes she is in. Of course, if you've seen her already in Jolene or Tree of Life you already know that she's an amazing actor! Hard to write a review on this without spoilers, but let's just say that I was brought to tears in the end."
Points of interest:
Wilde Salome (no date)
Jessica is Salome
Directed by Al Pacino
With Al Pacino and Kevin Anderson
Filmed in 2006
Award: Queer Lion Award at the 2011 Venice International Film Festival
Jessica told an interviewer, "The first nudity I did was Salome, on stage for 1400 people...That was tough because it was through The Actors Studio and they wanted the dance to be improvisational, so it was different every night." Pacino planned a documentary of this play called Salomaybe (now titled Wilde Salome). with Al Pacino discussing the production, accompanied by scenes from Jessica's performance. A one-minute introduction to the documentary by Al Pacino. website
Jessica states that it was Al Pacino who taught her the difference between acting on the stage and acting for the camera. Pacino said that Jessica inspired the idea of making the film. After a year of reading the parts, the film was shot in about a week and a half. Wilde Salome has been long awaited. It debuted at Venice Film Festival September 4, 2011 and was scheduled for release in 2011, but as of yet no release date has been announced. In May 2012, someone asked Jessica on her facebook page whether there was any word on its release, and Jessica replied, 'No! and it's driving me bananas!'
Being cast in Pacino's play and film was the first big breakthrough in Jessica's career. She said about her experience, 'All the agents come to see you. That’s when I started to work in film.'
Points of interest:
Oblivion (April 19, 2013)
Previous title: Horizons
Jessica plays one of two leading female roles; which one is not yet clear
Directed by Joseph Kosinski
With Tom Cruise
Announced 09-26-11; shoots March 12-August 12, 2012 in Baton Rouge and New Orleans
In early January 2012, it was announced that Jessica was joining the film Kill bin Laden, which would begin shooting in February. At that time, Horizons was scheduled to begin shooting in March, suggesting a possible conflict. In mid-January reports indicated that Jessica was no longer part of the Horizons project and that her role was being filled by actress Olga Kurylenko.
There is considerable confusion in the media regarding the scope and detail of the movie's plot. The film was adapted from the graphic novel Oblivion, written by Joseph Kosinski, which has not been released, and some discrepancies may be based on differences between the film and the graphic novel. Other conflicts seem based on attempts to interpret the vagueness of the limited information made available.
There seem to be three significant women involved, who are often confused with one another: 1. Jack's lover and partner, 2. Jack’s fiancee from before the invasion, and 3. a lady who crash lands on the planet (I have read that she is from the past). It appears that Jack goes down to the Earth from the clouds, but others mention that he goes to a distant planet. The aliens on Earth are called Scavengers, and Jack's job is to repair the drones which are a defense against the alien threat that has almost stamped out humanity; but on the other hand, Jack is sometimes called a Scavenger.
Synopsis #2: A court martial sends a veteran soldier (Cruise) to a distant planet, where he is to destroy the remains of an alien race. The arrival of an unexpected traveler (Chastain) causes him to question what he knows about the planet, his mission, and himself.
Regarding Jessica's role, one source reports that Jessica "will play his love interest who still lives above. When Cruise meets another woman who appears to have crash landed on the barren planet, he’s driven to reexamine everything he knows." In contradiction, another source describes Cruise as "a soldier assigned to patrol a desolate planet who meets a mysterious traveler - a beautiful woman (Chastain) who crashed in a nearby spacecraft, and together they go on an adventure that forces him to question his world view."
We are hoping for clarity soon. See several very good illustrations from the graphic novel.
Points of interest:
Caught in Flight (2013)
Synopsis: Based on a real-life affair that the princess long kept under wraps, the film revolves around a secret affair between the late princess and a heart surgeon, Dr. Hasnat Khan, who was said to be the love of her life. Described as a 'love story between a princess locked in a tower and an ordinary man.'
It was announced on February 9 that Jessica had pulled out of this project and was replaced by Naomi Watts. Just after the announcement, Jessica confirmed the news on her facebook fan page. She explained that she withdrew when it became clear to her that it would not work in her schedule, but she did not want to share that information publicly until her replacement was on board.
To The Wonder (2012)
Previous title: The Burial
Jessica's brief role is unknown
Written and directed by Terrence Malick
With Ben Affleck
On April 2, 2012 Jessica commented on her facebook fan page, 'Just as I suspected, my small role has not made it into the final version. But I really didn't imagine it would. The 3 days I shot were with Ben Affleck and he was doing really great stuff. I'm looking forward to see how it all brilliantly comes together.'
Earlier Supposed Synopsis: Set over a period of years, the film stars Affleck as Neil, a failed writer stuck in a loveless marriage with Marina (Kurylenko), whose expiring visa put pressure on Neil to propose. Neil and Marina have a daughter (Tatiana Chilin) together, but both of them are looking outside the marriage. Neil is drawn to Jane McAdams) and Marina betrays her husband by having an affair with Charlie (Charles Baker).
Rumors that Jessica was filmed in Malick's romantic drama are confirmed. She was visiting the set and Malick asked her if she wanted to do some shots, so she did. She shot for a couple days. There is not yet any information concerning her role, except that all her brief scenes were with Ben Affleck, and it is very possible that her scenes will not be included in the final edit. This film is sometimes described as 'untitled'. Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, and Rachel McAdams have the starring roles.
Points of interest:
Jessica plays C. K. William's mother
Directed by James Franco and twelve others
With James Franco, Michelle Williams, and Mila Kunis
Filmed in Detroit; apparently shot in November 2011
This film was announced with a 2012 release date, but there has been no further update during the year. It was also planned to show at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2012 but did not appear on the festival's film list. However, it did play at the Rome Film Festival in November. See .
The Detroit Free Press reports that Franco's Tar was 'shot in Detroit during his off-hours from “Oz.” It stars Franco, who convinced his “Oz” colleagues Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Zach Braff to join the cast, as well as Jessica Chastain and “Oz” director Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” colleague Bruce Campbell.' The Rome Film Festival cast description adds Henry Hopper, but does not mention Michelle Williams. Franco also played in the film -- as C. K. Williams at one stage in his life.
The young directors are Edna Biesold, Sarah-Violet Bliss, Bruce Thierry Cheung, Gabrielle Demeestere, Alexis Gambis, Shruti Ganguly, Brooke Goldfinch, Omar Zuniga Hidalgo, Shripriya Mahesh, Pamela Romanowsky, Tine Thomasen, and Virginia Urreiztieta.
Franco said, 'After I graduated from New York University, I proposed to teach a class. I wanted to do a few things I’d never seen before in a school – working professionally, find a funding, great actors, and although a very small budget, get a high level of production.'
The independent movie hoped to make its film festival debut at the September 2012 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2012 but did not appear on the festival's film list. However, it did play at the Rome Film Festival in November. See . See a 2:20 from the set; Jessica does not appear in it.
Points of interest:
Unity (November 30, 2012)
Jessica is one of many narrators
Written and directed by Shaun Monson
With 67 other narrators
1 hour and 50 minutes
Unity is a documentary written, produced, and directed by Shaun Monson, who also produced and directed the documentary Earthlings. According to the Unity website (edited),
The documentary is structured in six acts: Body, Mind, Heart and Soul, bookended by a Prologue and Epilogue. The subject of the film is humanity's propensity for apathy and empathy. As with Shaun's previous film, Earthlings, the editing manages to lead viewers into new and intriguing directions by a mix of unprecedented beauty with heart-breaking tragedy. While it is a cautionary tale, Unity also hopes to introduce a little grace, philosophy and awareness into more lives than ever before.
Unity picks up where Earthlings left off except, instead of focusing on our relationship with animals, the film explores man's dualistic relationships with each other. Our principle intention is to indicate to those who see the film that we have all (human, animal, or tree) sprung from the same root: that root being the earth.
Unity is meant to follow Earthlings as the second installment of a trilogy. The 5:20 nature-scene gives no information regarding the message of the documentary, but a 2:26 YouTube seems to provide more insight.
The project began about 2007 and it is unclear when Jessica recorded her narration. The film was announced for a November 30, 2012 release, but according to a June 8, 2012 facebook posting, the date has not yet been determined, though November is the goal. The same facebook posting indicated that the film was finished; a few days later the page reported an additional narrator being recorded. The last facebook posting is from August 2012. The last communication update on the webpage seems to be March 20, 2012.
Apparently, there have been some local screenings of the incomplete film. There is also a five-hour, unabridged audiobook of the Unity script read by Shaun Monson.
Remember to Check Out These Jessica Pages on Chastain Central:
Jessica Chastain Biography
Jessica Chastain Becomes a Star
Jessica Chastain in Magazines
Jessica Chastain on Stage and TV
Jessica Chastain News
Jessica Chastain Film Reviews
Jessica in The Tree of Life
Make a Comment!