Jessica Chastain isn’t impressed when studio executives congratulate themselves on casting women in strong roles.
The two-time Oscar-nominated actress likes to choose projects that push her, and has won praise in recent years for her roles in space flick Interstellar and Zero Dark Thirty, the hard-hitting drama that chronicled the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
Finding such powerful roles isn’t an easy task though, so to help create more roles for women both in front and behind the camera, Jessica set up production company Freckle Films earlier this year (16).
“There are incredible movies with female protagonists, but I’m cautious to say everything’s better now because I see studios patting themselves on the back: ‘Look, I’ve got this film with diversity. I’ve got women in this.’ I think when you congratulate yourselves for diversity, that means nothing’s really changed,” she sighed to British magazine The Edit.
Jessica’s career skyrocketed after she was cast in 2011 hit The Help. She was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for her role as blonde bombshell Celia Foote, and hasn’t struggled to land big roles since.
But the 39-year-old strives to find parts that “create discussion and inspire young girls”, which means she often turns down movies, including an unnamed blockbuster.
However, work shows no sign of slowing down and she currently has six new films in production, including Molly’s Game with Idris Elba and Kevin Costner.
When it comes to her career, Jessica admits she’s done with being asked if she worries about work drying up.
“When I read interviews about male actors, they aren’t asked these questions,” she said. “I feel – and please don’t take offence – but I feel that the media has a responsibility to not continue to ask them.”