Making a difference

How Jessica Chastain is working to dismantle ‘the old fashioned stereotype’ of womanhood

(REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

While promoting her new movie at the Toronto International Film Festival, Jessica Chastain opened up about her commitment to combatting “the old fashioned stereotype” of womanhood.

As The Toronto Sun reports, the actress said during a press conference that she deliberately seeks out complex roles that defy tired, but nevertheless pervasive Hollywood tropes.

“If I am part of society, if I am part of the industry, then I am part of the problem,” she said. “So what am I doing to contribute in a positive way, to move the needle in a positive way? That to me means playing characters who are complicated, women who are complicated, playing women who are not just an angelic portrait of perfection or are not just this sexy object of desire. I am interested in playing authentic women, women that I know in my life who make mistakes, are noble sometimes, are competitive sometimes, and who can get quite messy sometimes.”

Chastain’s latest role offered precisely the sort of meaty character that she craves. In Molly’s Game, directed by Aaron Sorkin, she plays Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran elite — and illegal — poker games for celebrities, athletes, and Russian mobsters.

The actress has often spoken out against problematic depictions of women on screen. In May, while speaking at the final press conference of the 70th Annual Cannes Film Festival, she said that the portrayal of women in the festival’s roster of films was “disturbing.” Chastain is also at the helm of an all-female production company.

Read the full story at The Toronto Sun.


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