Jessica Chastain: Don’t perpetuate myth of women not supporting each other

Last week’s National Enquirer included a story about Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence and their alleged girl-fight. I noted at the time that it sounded like a story that was just made up out of thin air because the tabloids were hungry for ANY whiff of girl drama this awards season. I also said that I wished the tabloids would come up with some juicy boy-drama, like something involving Bradley Cooper perchance. Anyway, Jessica Chastain heard about the Enquirer’s story, and she posted some thoughts onto her Facebook page (which I didn’t even know she had!):

I find it very sad that media makes up bogus stories about women fighting in this industry. Filming The Help was the most amazing experience and yet, that is the film I’m most asked about in regards to “fighting on set”. Why do we support the myth that women are competitive and cannot get along?

I think all of the actresses recognized this year have given incredible performances. But more important, they’ve all shown themselves to be filled with generosity and kindness. I’ve done two photo shoots with Jennifer Lawrence over the years and have found her to be utterly charming and a great talent. I’ve told her how beautiful her film work is.

Please don’t allow the media to perpetuate the myth that women aren’t supportive of each other. Everytime an actress is celebrated for her great work, I cheer. For the more brilliant their performance, the more the audience demands stories about women. With support and encouragement, we help to inspire this industry to create opportunities for women. And as we all know: a great year for women in film, is just a great year for film xxjes

[From Jessica’s Facebook]

Before I discuss this in any detail, I just want to tell you that Jessica is the kind of person who posts a lot of photos of her adorable little puppy Chaplin on her Facebook. Chaplin is seriously the cutest thing of the awards season!! Anyway, about Girl Power and all of that… sure. I believe Jessica is a legitimate feminist and that she admires and honors Jennifer Lawrence and many, many actresses. I believe that pitting two women against each other just for the hell of it is wrong. But I also think the awards shows are competitions in which a lot of time, money and energy has been expended and it’s okay to be disappointed or sad if you don’t win. And when someone is hurt, disappointed or sad that they didn’t win, sometimes some drama will creep in – it’s human nature, as far as I’m concerned. And that’s why Jessica’s management team reminded Deadline that Jessica lost the SAG Award to Jennifer because the SAG voters didn’t get screeners of Zero Dark Thirty. Jessica’s team just wanted to remind people that it wasn’t that Jennifer’s performance was qualitatively BETTER than Jessica’s, it’s just that not enough people had seen Jessica’s performance. And that, ladies, is the non-tabloid girl drama.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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46 Responses to “Jessica Chastain: Don’t perpetuate myth of women not supporting each other”

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  1. lexy says:

    All these awards are such a joke. How can they be taken to be valid and genuine when the voters do not see every film? What exactly are they voting for?

    • T.Fanty says:

      I’m awards show-ed out. Doesn’t it seem like there were already SO many of these events this year?

    • mel says:

      The only good thing about Awards Season is the fashion and well, even that is going downfall.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      …and the award for Best Worst Haircut In An Unctuous Grab To Impress Some Invisible Committee Goes To…

      Harvey Weinstein, Mayor Of Hollywood and Patron Saint of Distressed Couches.

      He’s the best actor of any bunch if anyone in the industry or outside of it thinks this is anything but a farce. Still, so many people and their ‘campaigns’ think that it’s better to lose their dignity than it is to lose out on some tacky little trinket over an over-hyped, self-serious film that everyone will despise in a wave of backlash. Overexposure isn’t just a Richard Avedon trick, but these people never understand that. Year after year, they fail to understand this and it scrambles the mind would that it were ravaged by tertiary syphilis that they think audiences don’t get beyond tired of this dog and pony show.

      Yes, I understand that added publicity boosts the profits of a lot of branches of the tree but there is a saturation point (especially when the stumping begins before the movie is even released) that comes pretty quickly and the diminishing returns take over with venom in its eyes and while Harvey can always find a new one to massage, this year’s adored has to wait for years for audience to its mug again–Helen Hunt, anyone? And her presence was downright introverted when compared with the ugly displays that go on these days. They’re hurting their careers in the long run with all of this shortsighted nonsense and you know who doesn’t care because he’s getting his? Here’s a hint: it’s not Santa. The Swan stink still hanging off of Natalie Portman remains so potent that we’re shipping her off the continent but cause and effect only happens to everyone else, right? Did anyone else see that faux-profound airless short directed by Paul McCartney with her and Johnny Depp? Didn’t you want to defenestrate yourself time and time again for having her rhinoplasty and lip injections tossed in your face just because you wanted to watch a British film about the elderly and their effect on hotel management? It was enough that it was pretentious and hollow enough to fit right in her wheelhouse, but had she have done this before the spectacle I suspect the audience groan would have had a few decibels shaved off. What’s this blood coming from my ear?

      Why even bother with the campaigns? We don’t have a say in who gets awarded but we’re the ones who receive the onslaught–explain the logic in that to me. No, I’ve got it: All of us wretches have no eye for transparency or the obvious, so out here in Peoria our feeble minds will never detect how insular and political this process is?

      I know that a lot of people think that people who actively avoid these shows are just trying to be ‘better’ and triumphal, i.e. snotty than people who do just to give themselves a boost in their smugness levels. I can see their point, but more so than ever, this all comes off as childish and pointless antics and yes, it is selfish of me but why the hell should I watch the most spoiled, privileged and pampered half-wits on the planet drape themselves with jewels and receive the most obsequious fawning imaginable because they had the courage to wear dresses that someone picked like they’re Jonas frigging Salk? Is it because they’ll never have another opportunity to lie to each other over how much respect they have for each other and how they didn’t expect to win so they didn’t even write a speech? Because they don’t get to wear finest of finery at any other point in the year? Maybe if it were me bedecked in Van Cleef And Arpels I would care (actually, I would care if I wore those pieces, I’d care a lot…I’d die of beauty), but it’s not, so who cares? Yes, I just said that, they don’t have any expressed written or implied verbal consent over my admiration, especially when so many of them are outright contemptuous of people like me.

      And that’s why I stopped watching award shows years ago: because they’re stupid.

  2. Hubbahun says:

    She’s gone up in my estimation, well said Jess :D

  3. two_seconds_ago says:

    Sisterhood solidarity!

  4. stellalovejoydiver says:

    I think both of them are competitive and there is nothing wrong about it.
    The problem is that when men are competing against each other it is fair sportmanship, but when women compete against each other it is a jealous, catty bitchfight.

    • Lb says:

      Agreed. There is a distinction to be made. No one expects women to check their competitive attitudes at the door in a competition but a person can be disappointed for their own loss and still supportive of the winner without it being the drama the tabloids and blogs make it out to be.

      I like what Jessica wrote. It’s rings true based on everything we know of her. She’s been acting for so long and must simply be thrilled that the work is steady now. The awards are a bonus and not one that requires her to cat fight with anyone.

  5. Seagulls says:

    But that’s still not girl drama. And of course, women can be competitive, but when people talk about “girl drama” (for one thing, they’re usually women) it’s reduced to a petty catfight, as if the ladies only know some approximation of regular adult male behavior.

  6. mel says:

    She is a goddess. Props to her for addressing the rumour and putting a stop to it.

  7. Gine says:

    That was well said. I’m starting to like her.

  8. Mia 4S says:

    As if I didn’t love her enough, well said! Brad Pitt and George Clooney both get nominated and it’s healthy competition. Two women? Raging bitches time! I resent that the media more and more devalues female friendship and co-work. You don’t hate each other?! You must be lesbians or something! It’s sexist beyond belief.

  9. Josh says:

    Love all her fb postings. Comes across as so genuine and sincere.
    Hope sony has sent out all the screeners by now for oscars voting…
    Best of luck to zero dark thirty and jessica.

  10. MsAubra says:

    The idea of “sisterhood” is a joke. Some of the biggest mysogonists on the face of the earth are other women. That being said, I don’t support everything or like/believe in everything alot of women stand for or are about. I don’t think one should support somone just on the strength of them being a fellow female, and I say this as someone who identifies with my gender first rather than race…

    Having said all that…GO JESS!!!

    • melior says:

      Just because there are some vocal female misogynists out there it doesn’t mean there’s no sisterhood. Extreme arguments like this kill the debate.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        I’d agree with that. It’s really hard to start a relationship with a person who automatically assumes you’re not good enough and have to be a credit to your sex. People pick up on that. So a person decides that all a woman can do with herself is down to another woman’s expectations, well forgive me, but isn’t denigrating an entire sex pretty sexist in itself? I’ve always found that ‘I can only be friends with men because I’m the only good woman around and the whole female sex is a debased monolith of cattiness’ attitude to be as much of a ‘mean-girling’ attitude as the one the pushes some women to act shamefully towards other ones and lead people to that conclusion.

        I KNOW that horrible women exist, I’m an adult and I’m not a willfully blind one, but how am I supposed to take that? How are anyone of the women posting here right now supposed to take that? For all of the crappy women I’ve met (and terrible men), I just flat out disagree that women can’t be friends or ever sincerely support each other. They can, I’ve seen it, I’ve enjoyed it and it’s possible and wonderful.

  11. Mary says:

    This award season is really wearing me out. I went into this season not knowing much about either. I will leave the season as a fan of Jessica and barely able to tolerate jlaw.

  12. Miss Jupitero says:

    This lady is a grown up, a talented professional who has proven herself just plenty, and I find the idea that she would cat fight with a totally new talent like Jennifer Lawrence to be absurd on its face.

    I like what she wrote.

  13. Mauibound says:

    I’ve never really understood the whole awards season game. These actors make millions upon millons of dollars, isn’t that enough and now you have to award yourself for it? Geez

    • LAK says:

      we may not like the game BUT those awards really make a difference to ALL the nominees and winners, not to mention the films.

      The cast/crew of the nominated films who haven’t been nominated gain from the exposure.

      Best recent example is HURT LOCKER which was a festival film in 2008, but didn’t get a USA release until Summer 2009. Even so, it wasn’t an audience pleaser and it appeared to sink without a trace. After the nomination, it was released again, Suddenly Jeremy Renner was a thing, and it resurrected Kathryn Bigelow’s career.

      Of course now everyone is one the Kathryn is great train, but she was really struggling prior to that, and she struggled to get that film made. Which makes one SMH given her past successes.

      ditto PRECIOUS and Gabourey Sidibe. Ditto THE ARTIST [and everyone in it]to name a few more that gained exposure due to the nominations.

      It can also change the direction of an actor’s career. Who knew people like Jamie Fox/Robin Williams/Monique were more than comedians?

  14. lily says:

    To be honest, I hope neither of them going to win and Emmanuelle Riva will take that Oscar. Her performance is beyond amazing and way superior than Lawrence’s or Chastain’s. Besides, am I the only one who sick to death of Harvey Weinstein buying every awards for Silver Lining Playbook? Seriously, the film is not that good and Lawrence’s performance isn’t Oscar worthy either.

    • mel says:

      IA. Jennifer should have been nominated in the Supporting Category and people would be fine because her performance IF Oscar worthy, belongs to other category and she shouldn’t be winning awards.

    • LAK says:

      i am still elated she won the Bafta however, one has to take into consideration the american awarding boards’ criteria which Emmanuelle Riva didn’t qualify for, so wasn’t nominated.

      The Baftas and Oscars are more open PLUS Oscar voters really look at the Bafta winners as their guide so i it shouldn’t not be a surprise if Emmanuelle wins the Oscar now.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        I know that you know a lot more about this than I do, so maybe you could clear up my confusion on this point:

        Why does America look to the BAFTAs at all? To a mind like mind that is ignorant of how these things work it makes no sense to me. My mind says: Each committee should be free to choose for itself and what some other committee or continent thinks should be immaterial. Of course, there has to be some reason and other forces at work that have logical reasons and forces at work that I just don’t understand. I don’t want to get caught out in the cold if my thinking is just overly simplistic and unjustly judgemental, which I’m kind of sensing is the case.

  15. Cassie says:

    Totally BS.

    All I see on internet are women blasting other women.
    I studied for five years at a single sex school of girls, I can tell you women do enjoy being mean or even cruel to each other.

    Jessica does not want to publicly do it and it’s a good decision. Let other well known actress do it.

    I’m cheering up for anyone who is not doing an obvious campaign and looks like Emmanuelle Riva is the only one, I watched only little bits of the movie and her work was very emotional.

    • Evelyn says:

      I went to school with all girls for a year and a half, and now I work with all girls. I would say in school there’s definitely A LOT more cattiness, but we all got along pretty well. But in working with all women I’ve come to like them a lot more. They’re really fun and nice, and sensitive to each others problems and supportive. Maybe that’s just my workplace and my coworkers, but I’m just saying women can be supportive of each other, even in a competitive environment

    • Kim says:

      Completely disagree. Every woman Ive ever surrounded myself with has been supportive. I think you have to find friends who have character and class. Alot of people are classless backstabbers. Alot of people can be cruel, men and women alike. In my experience I have found men to be far more cruel to their friends & other women.

    • LAK says:

      I mostly work with men although i went to ALL girls schools until university.

      School was a different kettle of fish. The girls were as likely to be mean as to be supportive.

      Having worked primarily with men for most of my working life, i find them to be quite simple creatures. Even when they are being competitive and cruel, it’s always direct, very little nuance.

      I worked one year in an all female office…never again. perhaps it was that particular office. There were such levels of complexity i’d never dealt with. Even with my 18yrs of single sex boarding school. The cattiness and the emotive conversation…eek.

      Couldn’t stand it. I was relieved to be outta there.

  16. Micki says:

    Hm, women ARE competitive as much as men are. And they CAN support each other as weel.

    BUT if she wants to tell me she supports her contenders instead to fight for herself and the product SHE’S sedlling- I don’t buy it, sisterhood and all…

  17. Sunnyjyl says:

    Good message. Now, to check our her work. I am not familiar with her beyond, The Help.

  18. A says:

    Love her. That is so true, and something I’ve noticed that people stupidly do
    (pit women against each other for no reason) all the time.

    The funny thing is, I’ve noticed men in Hollywood have made very pointed, obvious barbs before. Sean Penn, Ben Affleck, David O Russell, etc throw shade way more than women…There were some stories of RPattz and Andrew Garfield shading one another, and RPattz gave some quote about how happy he was to do real cinema (that Cronenberg film) rather than a $200 million dollar superhero movie. So obvious. Yet we always have stories of women cat fighting, even when those women have said nice things in the past about each other. I really
    can’t think of any incidents of women directly or obviously throwing shade at one another besides Gwynnie and Winona, Aniston, LeAnn and Brandi Minajai, and Taylor Swift. Despite this, if an actress says something critical if the industry in general (weight, for example), it’s twisted by the tabloids as a slam against a specific person. Nearly every actress out there has supposedly been cat fighting according to the tabloids, and it’s absurd.

  19. Nico says:

    I thought that was beautifully said. And I don’t really understand the criticism, because it’s completely possible to be disappointed by your own loss (and even recognizing of unfair or biased judging) and still happy for the person who won and happy about what that means for women in Hollywood. Whether that’s always the case is a different issue completely, but I’d like to believe that Jessica tries to follow her own advice.

  20. Kim says:

    AMEN! Beautifully said Jessica. She is a class act which is rare in Hollyweird.

  21. Tiffany says:

    I think that was really well written, and I am glad she took the time to make such a strong point over a non-story.

    We need more women in TV and film (the percentage of female roles compared to men is horrific), but we also need a greater variety of female roles presented…especially those over 40.

    Geena Davis’s organization “See Jane” has made great strides. They even took an ad out in the trades asking screen writers to include this phrase in their descriptions of crowd scenes: “SOME OF WHOM ARE WOMEN”. Pretty sad when we can’t even be represented by extras!