Jessica Chastain seemingly became famous overnight. While she shot “Wild Salome” with Al Pacino earlier (the movie still hasn’t come out stateside, but you can read our review here), 2011 marked The Year Of Chastain. Suddenly, she had a string of movies coming to cinemas: Terrence Malick’s “The Tree Of Life,” Jeff Nichols’ “Take Shelter,” Ralph Fiennes’ directorial effort “Coriolanus,” John Madden‘s “The Debt,” and, of course, “The Help,” which earned the actress her first Academy Award nomination. She was everywhere, and in high demand, soon garnering work and acclaim in films by Christopher Nolan, Kathryn Bigelow, John Hillcoat, J. C. Chandor, and more (later this year she has films coming out by Guillermo del Toro and Ridley Scott).
In a recent and very engaging one-hour conversation with photographer/filmmaker Sam Jones on the Off-Camera podcast, Chastain talked about her career, her beginnings, her exacting acting process, working on “The Tree Of Life,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” and “Interstellar,” her desire to work with more females, and more.
It’s a fascinating discussion, especially when it gets into her acting process — how she essentially memorizes the subtext of every conversation so she understands the motivations for everything her character says. Fans of Chastain will surely dig this, but movie lovers and anyone looking to break into acting will find value in it too. Listen to the full one-hour conversation below, plus watch about ten minutes of filmed extras.