As the Oscars attempt to revitalize their television broadcast and halt the show’s declining ratings, producer Will Packer made the controversial decision to cut eight awards from the live program. Instead, the below-the-line categories (Documentary Short, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original score, Production design, Animated Short, Live-Action Short, and Sound) will be handed out before the show begins, with the winners’ acceptance speeches edited into the broadcast to save time. The move attracted instant outrage in Hollywood circles, with many of the industry’s most prominent figures calling on the Oscars to restore the old format and honor the artisans who make movies possible, often without receiving much credit.
But while most of Hollywood has had strong words about the decision, one Oscar nominee is matching hers with actions. Jessica Chastain, who is nominated for Best Actress for her role in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” has announced that she is willing to miss out on the red carpet in order to be with her film’s makeup team when their category is announced.
“I will absolutely be present when the makeup category is being called, and if that means I’m not doing press on the red carpet or ABC or whatever it is, then so be it,” Chastain said in an interview on the Next Best Picture podcast.
Chastain scored a nomination for Best Actress for her performance as televangelist Tammy Faye (despite the film itself receiving little attention) in part due to the remarkable physical transformation she underwent. The star is practically unrecognizable under layers of makeup and prosthetics for much of the film, portraying Faye at various ages over the course of 30 years. She clearly recognizes the role that her makeup team played in earning her the multitude of accolades she has received for the film.
“The most important thing for me is to honor the incredible artisans who work in our industry,” she said. “So much attention is on the actors. We’re like the face, in some ways, because you go to a movie and you see us. A lot of people don’t understand how beyond an actor a performance is. Look at this incredible makeup team. ‘Tammy Faye’ goes through three decades.”
The 94th Academy Awards are set to take place on Sunday, March 27.