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Jessica Chastain: Our industry has done a terrible job at showcasing women as they are

Hollywood actor Jessica Chastain talks about the conversation around portrayal of women on screen and why there’s still a lot left that needs to change.
Jessica Chastain: Our industry has done a terrible job at showcasing women as they are

  • Juhi Chakraborty

  • Hindustan Times

Last Updated: 06.23 AM, Feb 10, 2022

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As someone who by her own admission has consciously always taken up well-written female characters in her acting journey so far, Jessica Chastain still believes that such roles are still far and between.

The star of films like Zero Dark Thirty (2012) , Sloane (2016), Molly’s Game (2017), Ava (2020), says that even though things have been changing for the better in recent times, it is still not enough when it comes to good female roles.

“There has been so much conversation about strong women, and how radical a thought it is about our industry… but in reality our industry has done a terrible job at showcasing women as they are. And through Zero Dark Thirty I got to know some women who do the work in the shadows, espionage work and put their lives at risk and are really unsung in their deeds,” Chastain tells us.

The actor further adds, “I feel like the industry has determined in the past that a woman’s greatest asset is her sexual desirability and I don’t see that in the world. I want people to see the true reflection of how strong women are on screen.”

It was that desire to bring about that change, that the actor decided to turn producer and make sure she backs projects that tell the stories of such women, including her recent The 355, which about group of female international spies who must work together to stop a terrorist organization from starting World War III.

“I wanted to make a film about women whose greatest asset is their intellect and skills and their ability. I hope this is an important movie for female empowerment for young girls but also for young boys as well. And anyone else who wants to see women as they are,” she adds.

For the film, Chastain apart from her has got on board Penélope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, Diane Kruger, and Lupita Nyong’o. The 44-year-old says that she also rues how some great female actors are not given their due and not given the kind of work they deserve.

“In the industry in a way as I have seen, a lot of actresses have not been allowed to take up the space that they can take up, someone like Diane Kruger, for example. This film was most inclusive project like no other set that I have been on before. I was so excited to work with all these women,” she ends.

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