I know this will make the second time I’ve been reduced to “Twilight” terminology in the last couple of weeks, but I can’t help myself after conducting this interview and seeing her work in “The Help” and “The Debt”… I am resolutely now a member of Team Chastain.
And why not? Yes, she’s a pretty strawberry blonde, and yes, she’s crazy talented, but what did it for me was seeing her range demonstrated so clearly in such a short period of time. That and sitting down to chat with her to how she’s feeling these days and realizing she’s preposterously well-adjusted and cool.
After all, for her, this is not an immediate thing. She’s been working on all the films we’re just now seeing for a while now, and she knows how diverse those experiences have been, but for many of us, she’s having that moment that happens occasionally where someone simply happens overnight, where we turn around and see them in a half-dozen films suddenly. In this case, Chastain was discovered by Al Pacino for a stage production of “Salome,” and his word-of-mouth praise for her work got her hired by Terrence Malick, John Madden, Ralph Fiennes, and more.
As if all of that weren’t enough, I can’t think of a higher compliment for a young actress than getting hired to play the younger version of Helen Mirren in a film. The other day, I ran my interview with Mirren, where we talked about her end of the process, and in my talk with Chastain, I talked to her about how it was for her to play that role and work with Mirren to help define the character.
I have no doubt that Chastain is someone we’re going to see a lot of in years to come, and it’s exciting right now to see each of these films come out and see some new facet of her talent. Sometimes, moments like this tend to be all hype with nothing to back it up, but Chastain strikes me as the real deal, a gifted chameleon who has managed so far to transform completely from role to role.
“The Debt” is playing now.