Jessica Chastain: "In Hollywood they tell me I shouldn’t be so big mouthed"

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Just a few weeks ago, at a Venice Festival, orphaned by actors due to the strike, Jessica Chastain (Sacramento, California, 1977), took the stand and made it clear what she is about and what all this is about. “I’m very lucky and I’m aware of it. This profession is wonderful and that’s why we actors are often made to feel like we have to be quiet to protect future job opportunities,” she said, took a breath and continued: “I think it’s precisely that environment which has allowed for decades abuses occur in the workplace and he is also responsible for the abusive contracts given to union members.” He said all this with a black t-shirt screen printed with a message of support for the strike and he said it because the film in which he stars ‘Memory‘, by Michel Franco, is an independent production with the permission of the union itself to be able to promote it.

Well, from Venice to San Sebastián, the same film and the same effort to make clear who it is, what it is about and, fundamentally, what it is all about. “Yes, I have been told too many times that I should not be so loudmouthed, that the way I talk about political issues or the strike can intimidate many people. But, in reality, only people who have low self-esteem are intimidated. or that they are insecure… Michel [por Michel Franco] It’s not one of those, it’s not unsafe. “He values ​​what I say and he values ​​me as an artist,” the actress said on Wednesday by way of presentation to a group of journalists.

In reality, and once again, the statement served as a prologue to the timely explanation of what he thinks of the current state of the strike. A few days ago it was learned that the scriptwriters, who work closely with the unemployed actors, had reached an agreement in principle with the studios. “Every day we invite the heads of the big production companies to sit with us at a negotiating table, and They have not yet deigned to do so. I hope that the principle of agreement they have reached with the scriptwriters means a change of attitude on their part regarding the actors’ demands. I’m sure there are a lot of decent people in those companies.” It’s clear.

For the actress, this is just one of the problems of the film industry of which she has ended up being reference and scourge at the same time. It is the most urgent, but perhaps not the most serious. Two years ago, right here, at the presentation of ‘Tammy Faye’s eyes‘ was easily dispatched against the way Hollywood portrays women. “Everything is based on making women desirable… Enough of commodifying our body,” she said, to no one’s surprise. Well, if she is reminded of the phrase, she sticks to her guns and ups the ante: “Sexism is intrinsic in the United States, but we hope that in time we will be able to overcome it.”

In ‘Memory‘, Jessica Chastain imperially brings to life a woman haunted by the memories of a haunted childhood, precisely. And abused. The character, she says, demanded a lot from her and from very deep and, hence, the need to maintain the appropriate distance. “It is very important to work with people who protect you. And that is not common. This industry is full of people who only want to profit from you. I take care of myself because I have a family and I try to make my private life as calm as possible. This allows you to give your all on the set. You compensate one thing with another. But it is essential that if you offer yourself completely, you know that no one is going to take advantage of you, “she comments. And she continues:” I will not be so naive as to mention any active person, but yes I will remember that Hitchcock did not hesitate to abuse actresses to get what he needed in his films. Not to mention Bernardo Bertolucci did terrible things during the filming of ‘The last Tango in Paris‘”.

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