I have to say: I suspect someone at Town & Country realized that they should Tatler-ize their cover lines to be cheekier. Both “Does Your Housekeeper Secretly Hate You?” and “How Rich Is Too Rich?” are VERY Tatler. (The Tatler I just got includes “The Secret Club For The Super-Rich: Can You Get In?” and “My Scotch Egg Is Bigger Than Yours! The Cotswold Pub Wars.”) I like the photo: It’s sexy but EXPENSIVE, which is sort of the look I’d like to adopt myself except I don’t think I can pull off either of those. I am a little concerned that — and this is weird — they Photoshopped her forehead to be LARGER to fit in the title. Is that…a thing?
The interview is worth your while. Jessica Chastain is one of my favorite Jessicas, in part because she has spent the last six months absolutely not holding fire about anything, and she continues to do so herein — but I must admit that I wish T&C had sent a woman to interview her. The reporter does a decent job (though there’s a really awkward segue trying to tie her wedding to the Women’s March that just doesn’t land, and I do not understand why the editor didn’t trim that graf; it’s a clunker and the opener leads well into the paragraph after it. AHEM: I HAVE EDITS), in part because Chastain gives good quote, but the bulk of the interview is about how Chastain is a singular individual, a staunch feminist, and a kind of a lone wolf — she even started her own theatre company as a kid — and I wonder if a female journalist would have bought a more profound understanding of how hard and lonely it can be to be that way as a woman, sometimes.
“For me this movie is not about gossip. It’s the story of this woman who makes a lot of mistakes and gets knocked down a lot but keeps standing back up.” And it satisfied her requirements for a role. “It’s about whether the character is flesh and blood, a real human being with her own desires separate from a husband or boy or love interest,” Chastain says. “I think the industry is beginning to examine itself and how it has perceived female roles. I’m seeing a lot of really interesting discussions, and I do think it’s changing.”
…for Chastain, the personal is political, and Hollywood is just the tip of the iceberg. “We have a long way to go in the world in all industries,” she says. “If I’m in the situation where I have equal experience to the other actor and my role is just as significant, there is no reason why I should be paid less. It’s not really part of my world anymore, because I just won’t accept it.”
Aaron Sorkin, somehow, gets arguably the best line in the whole piece — well, “somehow” is because he wrote it himself:
“Some people have noted that we never see any scenes where Molly has a boyfriend,” Sorkin says. “It’s interesting, because, as far as I know, no one mentioned that about Brad Pitt in Moneyball.”
Yeah, that’s for real. And, related, the kicker is grand, especially in light of how the ENTIRE INTERVIEW is basically Chastain talking about how she isn’t interested in playing “traditional” roles for women — AKA the Wife And Mom Parts — and reinforcing over and over again that woman are, like, wholly realized beings with goals beyond what society deems appropriate for us, and I can’t tell if it’s intentionally so or just incredibly clueless:
Just when I ask if she would like to have children, Chastain says our time speeding around Manhattan is up, and she bids me a cheery farewell.
And then she gets out of the car. INDEED.
[Photo: Matthew Brookes]