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By DP30 david@thehotbuttonl.com

DP/30: Zero Dark Thirty, actor Jessica Chastain

3 Responses to “DP/30: Zero Dark Thirty, actor Jessica Chastain”

  1. Sam says:

    Loved this interview. Jessica Chastain is a great conversationalist, and I like what she has to say about how she works. And I like how down to earth she is, despite having every reason not to be.

  2. jon says:

    She’s great.

  3. Djiggs says:

    The best Actress Oscar goes to Jessica Chastain this year & I think handily over Jennifer Lawrence.
    -the other 3 likely candidates Cotilliard, Riva, Weisz/Knightley are into pictures that are even more uncompromising in their artistic viewpoints than even ZD30 (not necessarily more successful story wise than ZD30 but definitely less appealing to an average moviegoer & academy member)
    -historical drama against screwball romantic comedy
    -sending praise to Obama’s administration approach to handling terrorists (e.g. Good detective work vs evil Cheney torture tactics)
    -Factoring along with their performances are Chastain’s career & Lawrence’s career in Oscar voters … Which I theorize will be like how the AL MVP went to Cabrera over Trout…Lawrence is still a young skyrocket with bigger mountains to climb while Chastain is hitting the beginning of her prime acting years after 10 plus years not having any substantial recognition until past two years
    -the biggest factors are screen time & how much each actor is carrying their film’s narrative; Lawrence is in a more defined ensemble movie & is not the character that is the audience’s narrative marker…Bradley Cooper is & Lawrence is the most important supporting but still a supporting player. Chastain’s Maya is the viewer ‘s prism into the world of ZD30. I think that this is the primary reason Streep was chosen over Davis…because she was in almost every single scene in her movie.

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Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

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