I had a really fun chat with the suddenly ubiquitous Jessica Chastain recently. We had to reschedule twice as she galivanted 'round the Globe.
I'll post tomorrow but given that she's been racking up the precursor award nominations for The Help and winning critics prizes for the rest of her films, I had to ask her about her virginal prize this year, which she received in Venice... from MADONNA.
What a heady way to start your breakthrough year. Here's what she had to say about Madonna.
The first song I always think of is "Like a Virgin" [Laughs] I remember being a little girl and watching that music video. My aunt was obsessed with Madonna. I remember learning to dance and it being so inappropriate. I didn't even know what it meant "like a virgin" but I remember the dance moves and "touched for the very first time", all of that stuff!
There's something about Madonna. I look at her now and her whole career and all of the incarnations she's had and forms of self expression and it's so empowering, especially for a woman. I look at her and think if I could have a smidgeon, a small percentage of the power she has within herself, the strength and desire to tell a story through song, through film? That's what i aspire to.
Working with Brad Pitt...
How is she handling being thrown into this world of superstar celebrity?
I geek out on people all the time. I've embarrassed myself in front of Meryl Streep! I've embarrassed myself in front of Zach Galifanakis! I stutter a lot when I first meet people. When i first met Helen Mirren I think I only said 'Hi. Nice to meet you' and three hours later 'Goodbye.' I am not the most comfortable in the beginning!"
She tells me she has to push herself through the uncomfortable shyness. Push away, Jessica, push away. Given the year you've had and the career that's likely to follow, this will clearly need to change.
P.S. If you've never seen clips of that award she received in Venice and Madonna's presentation you can do so after the jump.