Jessica Chastain Talks Time's Up at Marie Claire's First-Ever Change Makers Event: "It's Really Global"

The Oscar-nominated activist joined Jill Soloway, Nina Dobrev and Hollywood power players like Bad Robot's Katie McGrath, CAA's Christy Haubegger, Maha Dahkil and Tracy Brennan at the magazine event.
Getty Images for Marie Claire
From left: Jessica Chastain, Marie Claire editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider and Nithya Raman

This is a big deal: Temperatures in Los Angeles on Tuesday hit and surpassed 70 degrees, marking the first high of 70-plus degrees in the City of Angels since Jan. 29. That streak of 41 consecutive chilly days — accompanied during this stretch by rain, thunder storms and overcast skies — has not happened here in 82 years.

The warmer weather arrived with sunny skies and a rainbow to boot, the latter courtesy of Jessica Chastain, who stepped out from the elevators inside the 10th floor of the Hills Penthouse event space in West Hollywood just after sunset at 7:45 p.m. like a ray of light in a rainbow-adorned Gucci creation. "It's happy," she told The Hollywood Reporter as she made her way down the intimate carpet at Marie Claire's inaugural Change Makers party. "We're here tonight to celebrate change-makers and women who have used their platforms to talk about inclusivity and diversity, so I wanted to wear a dress that felt like a rainbow."

While rainbows are always appreciated, fashion chatter was kept to a minimum, paused in order to clear the air for conversations about gender equality. Time's Up Entertainment — the industry arm of the movement — partnered with Marie Claire on the MCM-presented party, hence the purposeful dialogue and guest list. Marie Claire hosted nearly 50 Change Makers featured within the magazine, including creators (Jill Soloway), producers (Katie McGrath), agents (Maha Dakhil, Christy Haubegger), publicists (Keleigh Thomas-Morgan) and others who have inspired change in Hollywood. Cover stars included Chastain alongside Ava DuVernay and Constance Wu, but due to last-minute illnesses, DuVernay and Wu canceled and could not attend. 

Marie Claire editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider broke the news about DuVernay's absence during her opening remarks. "We created Change Makers to shine a light on the forces that are changing Hollywood. Everyone in this room is fighting for inclusion, representation, diversity, agency and pay and gender equality. I'd like to raise a glass — I’m sorry that it’s water — to all the Change Makers in this room and in our portfolio," Fulenwider said.

She then read a note from DuVernay. "Thank you, Anne, for including me in your beautiful magazine and for sharing my note with this room of incredible women. While I’m under the weather tonight, I’m also over the moon to be a part of an issue that celebrates the future of Hollywood and the powerful part that women play in that legacy. I hope that everyone gathered tonight stands together in the knowledge that every fall we face is actually a step. Every confusion is actually the opportunity for insight, every risk is actually a reward waiting to happen. I’m raising a glass of chamomile tea from bed to you, ladies, onward for all of us," read the note. 

Nina Dobrev, Elizabeth Chambers, Leona Lewis, Alana Mayo, Janet Mock, Busy Philipps, Nikki Reed, Soloway and Karla Souza were among those on hand to hear the remarks. They were also there to help applaud, cheer and shout when Time's Up executive director Nithya Raman amped up the crowd by saying how newsworthy it was that the attendees were gathered on that particular Tuesday. And it had nothing to do with weather.

"We're coming off a heady weekend for women in the industry. Captain Marvel just did almost half a billion dollars in opening weekend, destroying, once again, the myth that women are not bankable. I am so proud to be working closely with Brie Larson in Time's Up Entertainment, and especially delighted to have one of the writers and one of the directors here," Raman detailed, name-checking Anna Boden and Geneva Robertson-Dworet. 

Another moment that sparked a lot of emotion among those gathered was an unlikely one. Speeches from sponsors typically fall on deaf ears, but MCM's chief visionary officer Sung-Joo Kim captivated the crowd as she detailed how her father, an energy tycoon, disowned her when she vowed not to engage in an arranged marriage. Instead, she fled Japan — home to what she described as full of "Geisha parties, heavy corruption and drinking parties" — for a career in fashion. "I went through this difficult journey," she said. "That's why I respect you so much. You are my heroes. Don't forget." Something Kim didn't forget: She ended with an exclamation point by saying that of MCM's 1,500 full-time employees across the globe, "70 percent are women." 

Chastain also paid respect to the borders by ending her time with THR by looking past the skies hovering above Hollywood: "The wonderful thing about this movement is that it doesn’t feel like it's just for the entertainment industry. It’s really global. My next goal is to inspire people — women, men, whoever wants to be involved — to use their platforms to speak for inclusivity."