American actress Jessica Chastain loves to make films in a multi-genre movie and gladly takes on images that she has never worked on before.
In June, Ukrainian viewers will be able to see a new film from the famous movie series "X-Men", based on comics about superheroes. At this time, the focus will be Gene Gray, or the Dark Phoenix, which acquires new forces that the mysterious newcomer will want to use. She plays Jessica Chastain. The film was the debut directorial work of Simon Kinberg, the author of the scenarios for the paintings "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and "Sherlock Holmes". On the eve of the big premiere, the actress told L’Officiel about the collaboration with the debutant director, her unusual role and the decision to make her first film about superheroes.
Jessica, you play one of the most mysterious characters in this film, tell us a little about your heroine.
I play a newcomer who arrived on Earth because she was captivated by the power possessed by the main character Phoenix – Gene Gray, her role is played by Sophie Turner. And my character makes contact with her in order to encourage her to accept her strength, and not to be ashamed of her, and to use her in order to realize her evil plans.
This is your first feature film about superheroes. What made you agree to the shooting?
This is all thanks to the acquaintance with Simon Kinberg, because we worked together on the "Martian". I was interested in the plot, and as far as I know, in the history of cinema this is the second film about superheroes, where both the main character and his opponent are women, which is of great interest. I myself am intrigued by this, besides in the film there are wonderful scenes between Phoenix Sophie Turner and my character.
Did you have to re-read all the comics or review previous X-Men movies?
I read only the script, because my heroine is a collective image that absorbed the features of many characters from the X-Men universe, and comics would not help me understand it. And I watched films earlier, and I didn’t have a feeling that I needed to revise them before filming, because in a sense this picture is different. I knew that with Simon in the director's chair, she would become a separate story.
Was it difficult for you to work on such a character?
My heroine is mysterious, but for me she didn’t seem complicated because she’s pretty straightforward. When I first met Simon and we discussed her, I said that I associate her with a veterinarian who tells you that your dog needs to be put to sleep. She came from where there is much more knowledge than here, but she is impartial. If you do not agree with her that your dog should be put to sleep, she will judge you, saying that your decision is inhumane. There is something in it that attracted me – this is an impartial, deepest, smartest creature who came here to help people, as she believes. In addition, each of us has our own dark sides. There is no light without darkness. Therefore, for me it is a film in which the heroine does not need to hide her flaws or something that may seem repulsive. That is what I conveyed to my character.
For this image you had to change externally – on the screen you will appear as a blonde with whitened eyebrows and eyelashes.
In fact, this is the natural color of my eyebrows and eyelashes! Men seem to overlook this, but women often, especially in movies, tint eyelashes, if they are light, to make them darker. So I told Simon, "I already starred in films when I didn’t have makeup on my face. Without tinting, my appearance will resemble Tilda Swinton, and perhaps with a light wig, I’ll get exactly what we need." I wanted to create a heroine in whose eyes I could drown, and the lack of makeup here really was most welcome.
You are new in this cast. Did you have a warm welcome?
They are so cute! Unfortunately, not with all the actors I had a lot of scenes. Most of the time I starred with Sophie Turner, whom I adore, and then James McAvoey and I played three more films, so we are good friends. In general, I could not even dream of greater hospitality, generosity and kindness on their part.
This film was the directing debut of Simon Kinberg. What is he like the director?
It’s great because it gives actors free rein so that they can bring something of their own. When I shared the idea of introducing my character to some kind impartial veterinarian, he immediately went home and wrote something. I think it inspired him to create one of my monologues in the film. I was very pleased to work with him …
How would you define the idea of this film?
This is a story about individual freedom, the perception of happiness and sadness, light and darkness – one cannot exist without the other, the suppression of oneself in one way or another causes great harm. You need to declare yourself, talk about your desires, talk with loved ones. And if you try to hide what you think makes you repulsive, and ignore the problem, it drives you into an even bigger abyss. In addition, the characters feel threatened by the fact that Gene Gray has become more powerful than they all are. But what does this mean for them? When a loved one changes so much, do you lose him? He is no longer what he was? I think yes, there is a sense of loss. That is why this picture is more about the family.
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