Only in 2014 would the bright and talented Jessica Chastain be forced to defend a smart, gracious statement she made that was chewed up and fashioned into a faux controversy that what, was intended to go viral so that, what, they could up their traffic for one day on their otherwise pointless and insignificant website?
Chastain is one of the few major actress in Hollywood right now, other than Streep, who cares enough about the health of women in the industry to say a goddamned thing, let alone, tell it like it is. Most of them smile and look pretty because they’re afraid of putting the male-driven industry off. Either that, or worse, they deflect the word “feminism” because they’re “cool girls” and such oppression does not apply to them.
Chastain is a hero to women in film and they should not only be rallying around her but they too should be speaking out the way they did in the 1970s. That is the only way things will change. Though the industry bends towards the tastes of PG-13 audiences, almost exclusively male, that can change. Those tastes can evolve.
Either way, Chastain first said this:
“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. 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.'”
Then had to issue an explanation for the stupid people in the room:
“Page Six gets it terribly wrong. The headline is upsetting and against my thinking. I would never want to take roles away from a great actress. My point has always been: Why can one great actress of a certain age get roles in film? We need MORE roles in film for the many OTHER great actresses. It speaks to the lack of diversity in our industry.”
Yes, nobody is taking away Meryl Streep’s roles. She is her own demographic, one of the few who can really drive the box office. What Chastain is saying is WHY IS SHE THE ONLY MOTHER FUCKING ONE!? Where are the other Meryl Streeps in an industry that used to be driven by women and men equally.
Streep joins a very select group of actresses who continue to work into their 60s – like Helen Mirren and Judi Dench. This is likely why so many older actresses are forced to go under the knife if they want to keep working. One reason Streep doesn’t have to is that she has amazing bone structure. Her bones keep her beautiful face held in place. Such isn’t the case with many other actresses who then distort themselves to look youthful and therefore couldn’t play the older parts anyway, certainly not without people saying, “my god, what did they do to their face?”
But the amazing thing about Ms. Chastain is that she is atop the A list right now. She is enjoying a career high right now and yet, she’s using her platform to disseminate important ideas. And she might be one of the only high profile actresses doing that. That is really a great way to use a press tour, rather than simply going over the same old, same old.
But leave it to the collective idiocy to cluck around the henhouse like worried chickens over something they misinterpreted, or something they were told to misinterpret to sell magazines or clicks. It’s important, though, to listen to what Chastain is saying.
A few choice quotes by Chastain lately:
“The problem is, if I do a superhero movie, I don’t want to be the girlfriend. I don’t want to be the daughter. I want to wear a fucking cool costume with a scar on my face, with fight scenes. That’s what I’d love.”
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?”
“It’s a fact, the majority of films in Hollywood are from the male perspective…. And the female characters, very rarely do they get to speak to another female character in a movie, and when they do it’s usually about a guy, not anything else. So they’re very male-centric, Hollywood films, in general. So I think it’s incredible that Ned Benson, when I said I’d love to know where she goes, says okay, I’m going to write another film from the female perspective.”