Jessica Chastain Talks Sexual Harassment Allegations, Working With Aaron Sorkin
For THR's Actress Roundtable, Chastain discussed her new film 'Molly's Game' and making changes in the entertainment industry.
Jessica Chastain joined The Hollywood Reporter's Actress Roundtable to talk sexual harassment allegations, the future of the industry and her latest role as a female protagonist in Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut. Joined by five of Hollywood's leading women — Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Allison Janney, Mary J. Blige and Saoirse Ronan — Chastain dived into discussions about the recent accusations against Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner and others.
"There is a history of abuse against women in our industry. I hope the entertainment industry will never be the same," she said during the Roundtable. "I think I'm devastated about all of the stories that have come out because it's heartbreaking, but at the same time I feel hopeful because we're not ignoring it anymore and it's painful for change but it's needed, it was needed many many years ago."
Chastain added, "What's coming out now, there's abuses not just in terms of gender but there's so much that needs to change about Hollywood and I think that the industry will become extinct unless we show a more modern version of the world that we're presented with."
The actress' is starring in Molly's Game, which tells the real-life story of an Olympic skier who ran an exclusive high-stakes poker game for years before she was discovered by the FBI. The film is the first one Sorkin has directed, which he also wrote based off of the real Molly's memoir.
"What I'm so excited about, and what I hope other people who've been in the industry as long as Aaron Sorkin has, and ones that have as much power as he has, are inspired by what he did," Chastain said. "For his directorial debut, he decided to tell a story with a female protagonist. And he made a film about patriarchy in terms of family, in terms of industry and government and what women have to do to try to navigate the rules of men."
She said that when she first read the script, she couldn't believe Sorkin had chosen to tell this story, since he could've told any story he wanted, and noted how "there is so much in this film that deals with what a woman has to do to try to find some bit of success, to find some sense of power over her own life."
Sorkin was inspired by his daughter, Roxy, to tell this story, and in light of the harassment allegations, is aiming to "teach men not to be creeps. The onus isn't on women," Chastain said.
She also revealed that the line most commonly said to her by fans is "I'm the motherfucker who found this place, sir," from her 2012 hit Zero Dark Thirty. Chastain won a Golden Globe for that role and was also nominated for an Oscar. Her other nominations include a 2011 Oscar nod for The Help and three Golden Globe nominations for The Help, A Most Violent Year and Miss Sloane.