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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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“I suddenly couldn’t say anything about some of the movies. They were just so terrible, and I’d already written about so many terrible movies. I love writing about movies when I can discover something in them – when I can get something out of them that I can share with people. The week I quit, I hadn’t planned on it. But I wrote up a couple of movies, and I read what I’d written, and it was just incredibly depressing. I thought, I’ve got nothing to share from this. One of them was of that movie with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, Scenes From a Mall. I couldn’t write another bad review of Bette Midler. I thought she was so brilliant, and when I saw her in that terrible production of ‘Gypsy’ on television, my heart sank. And I’d already panned her in Beaches. How can you go on panning people in picture after picture when you know they were great just a few years before? You have so much emotional investment in praising people that when you have to pan the same people a few years later, it tears your spirits apart.”
~ Pauline Kael On Quitting

“My father was a Jerome. My daughter’s middle name is Jerome. But my most vexing and vexed relationship with a Jerome was with Jerome Levitch, the subject of my first book under his stage and screen name, Jerry Lewis.

I have a lot of strong and complex feelings about the man, who passed away today in Las Vegas at age 91. Suffice to say he was a brilliant talent, an immense humanitarian, a difficult boss/interview, and a quixotic sort of genius, as often inspired as insipid, as often tender as caustic.

I wrote all about it in my 1996 book, “King of Comedy,” which is available on Kindle. With all due humility, it’s kinda definitive — the good and the bad — even though it’s two decades old. My favorite review, and one I begged St. Martin’s (unsuccessfully) to put on the paperback jacket, came from “Screw” magazine, which called it “A remarkably fair portrait of a great American asshole.”

Jerry and I met twice while I was working on the book and spoke/wrote to each other perhaps a dozen times. Like many of his relationships with the press and his partners/subordinates, it ended badly, with Jerry hollering profanities at me in the cabin of his yacht in San Diego. I wrote about it in the epilogue to my book, and over the years I’ve had the scene quoted back to me by Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. Tom Hanks once told me that he had a dinner with Paul Reiser and Martin Short at which Short spent the night imitating Jerry throwing me off the boat.

Jerry was a lot of things: father, husband, chum, businessman, philanthropist, artist, innovator, clown, tyrant. He was at various times in his life the highest-ever-paid performer on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. He raised BILLIONS for charity, invented filmmaking techniques, made perhaps a dozen classic comedies, turned in a terrific dramatic performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and left the world altered and even enhanced with his time and his work in it.

That’s an estimable achievement and one worth pausing to commemorate.

#RIP to Le Roi du Crazy

~ Biographer Shawn Levy on Jerry Lewis on Facebook