Glenn here to talk about two of my favourite people, Xavier Dolan and Jessica Chastain. We don't usually discuss casting here at The Film Experience, especially this early into a film's existence, because they can so easily fluctuate and change without a moment's notice. This, however? This is casting news we absolutely must discuss.
Dolan's most recent film (it's hard to keep track) is Mommy, which won the Jury Prize at Cannes and is getting big plaudits out of Toronto including this one from Nathaniel labelling it his best work best. Not one to rest on his 25-year-old laurels, the Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan has cast Jessica Chastain in his English-language debut!! I'm not sure how much about The Death and Life of John F. Donovan we know already, but the exceptionally coiffed Dolan says it is a satire of the industry and that Chastain will play the villain, an editor-in-chief of a gossip magazine. Jessica is getting her Miranda Priestly on and I'm sure Dolan's hyper-stylized panache will make it yet another must see for both exceptionally talented individuals. Here's what he had to say, courtesy of /bent.
It was this friend of mine -- a journalist -- who had brought to my attention that Jessica Chastain had seen Mommy in Cannes and had liked it and tweeted about it ... It dawned on me that I should ask Jessica about playing the 'villain' role in 'John F. Donovan ... I reached out to Jessica and she read the script. She loved it, and we got along like hotcakes. That's basically it. I can already foresee all the pleasure we'll have working together.
This is the tweet in question and it's yet another example of why it amuses me so much to see filmmakers actually talking about other films and filmmakers. It's a great way of predicting who will be in this industry for the long haul if they're out there seeking films beyond the usual LA/NY red carpet events. It shows they're much deeper into their craft than it being a mere "job". Kudos to Chastain.
Completely blown away by @XDolan. His film, MOMMY was so impressive— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) May 22, 2014
Despite how amazing the two of them are, the news makes me doubly happy because it will surely mean that Xavier Dolan will get even more of a name for himself and hopefully his films can start coming out in America faster than they have been (Tom at the Farm *still* doesn't have a distributor!) What their collaboration will produce who can tell, but good grief are we keen! Not even the news that Dolan wants Taylor Kitsch, too, can dampen the excitement. What about you, does Jessica or Xavier excite you more?