Jessica Chastain is just as strong and powerful in real life as the characters she portrays on screen. Gracing the cover of SHAPE’s January/February issue, the two-time Academy Award nominee opens up on producing her new project “The 355” with costars Lupita Nyong’o and Penélope Cruz and why she’s focused on making a difference.
On her plan for all actors in her film to share in its profits: “A lot of times, our names are used to sell movies, and that’s how the money is raised for them. So I thought, If our names are being sold, then we need to be the owners of the film.” “I don’t know if anything like this has been done before, and honestly, I’m a bit shocked I got away with it,” Jessica says. “But hopefully it creates a new model in which artists can own their work.”
On using her voice and actions for positive change: “I want to use whatever platform I’m given to amplify someone who doesn’t have a platform. I’ve always felt it was irresponsible to allow another person to be ignored, bullied, or unheard. I don’t want to live in a world where something like that is OK. You can talk about something; you can wish it to happen. But at a certain point, what can you do that actually shifts the conversation? For me, it’s about the action of doing.”
On her thought process behind choosing to play strong women: “Those images of women in media are incredibly important to me. In the last five years or so, I’ve asked myself, What am I choosing? Am I showing women in a light that is different from what has been shown? How can I move the conversation forward? I was doing it in particular for young girls. But it’s important to do it for young boys as well. Because boys and men should be comfortable seeing women in these roles. Otherwise, we’re denying them the realization that the feminine is powerful and strong.”
The January/February issue of Shape magazine is available for purchase on January 15th.
[Photo Credit: Mary Rozzi for Shape Magazine]