Jessica Chastain’s painterly Vogue pictorial: beautiful or budget?

JC cover

Jessica Chastain covers the new issue of Vogue Mag, which will be out on stands on November 19th. I think this cover is a mess. And yes, art history majors, I know the cover is based on a painting, but I still think this is just a mess for a cover shot. Especially now that I’ve looked at the full slideshow, which you can see here. There were several really striking Annie Leibovitz photos that would have made gorgeous covers. This shot is just awkward. Still, this is Jessica’s first American Vogue cover, so holla. I like Jessica, but she’s kind of a snooze as an interview. Here are some highlights from the excerpt Vogue has released thus far:

On playing Salome: “I did not feel like a beautiful woman that people would kill each other for. Jessica—who I am in my personal life—I’m very shy, I feel very awkward, I don’t feel like a femme fatale at all.”

Guillermo del Toro on Jessica: “She is never guarded, but she is very protective of not having to be an open book. The crew loves her, the cast loves her, but that doesn’t mean that she has to cook a dinner for 25 people every Friday.”

Her real life: Her Facebook page, unusually well curated and full of “xxjes”s to her fans, charts her movements, from Paris Fashion Week to Jay Leno, but speak to friends and the picture that emerges is of a life that has remained more or less unchanged since Chastain’s days as a student at Juilliard, which she attended after winning a Robin Williams–funded scholarship. An early riser, she likes shopping for food at the local farmer’s market, doesn’t drink much, and is far more likely to be found at home playing Scrabble with friends, or else catching the latest Michael Haneke movie at the Angelika, than stumbling out of a nightclub at 3:00 a.m.

[From Vogue]

I do think she’s genuinely shy – not, like, Rooney Mara’s forced, hipster shy-aloofness, which is really just a rich girl’s entitlement and general lack of interest in anything outside of her world. Jessica seems like a fish out of water at most of the big Hollywood events, and she seems like a quiet, studious girl who has worked crazy-hard to get where she is and she deathly afraid of saying anything that might mess it up. Still, that makes for a boring interview (but I like Jessica anyway).



Photos courtesy of Annie Leibovitz/VOGUE.

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38 Responses to “Jessica Chastain’s painterly Vogue pictorial: beautiful or budget?”

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  1. bns says:

    US Vogue is awful as usual.

  2. Dani2 says:

    I think a close up of the last photo would have worked better as a cover.

  3. Livan says:

    I actually really love this cover!

  4. MrsBPitt says:

    Am I the only one that thinks JC is very over- rated? I didn’t think she was very good in Zero Dark Thirty (over-rated movie, also) and couldn’t believe that she was nominated for an Oscar. Don’t know much about her personal life, she seems to stay out of the tabloids, but I find her a very bland actress.

    • bns says:

      You’re not alone. She’s beautiful and seems lovely, but she’s overrated. I think the media are overrating both her and Jennifer Lawrence because they’re desperate to find the next Meryl Streep, but it’s not going to happen.

    • glaugh says:

      I agree she is overrated along with ZDT. She’s pretty, but her “personality” and acting … so dull.

    • marie says:

      I don’t think she’s overrated but she;s definietely not the next Meryl Streep. If anything, that title should belong to Cate Blanchett or Kate Winslet but Cate is the next Cate and Kate is the next Kate too so they don’t need to be the next Meryl because they’re fabulous on their own.

      Jessica has a rare quality to her that not a lot of actors have. First of all, she’s a stage actor which could not translate very well into movies but she has the beauty to be a movie star so she gets away with it. She’s very tranquil and seems like she plays it “real”, she doesn’t overact and is always in point. Kind of like Carey Mulligan. I think the problem with these two great young actresses is that, sometimes, that comes across as “boring” or simply “not interesting enough”.

    • manta says:

      No, you’re not alone.
      But for me, the revelation didn’t come from Zero Dark Thirty but from Coriolanus.Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler were excellent and Vanessa Redgrave was, as usual, riveting. I was almost sorry for Chastain every time she shared some screen time with Redgrave;she was totally outshone.

    • emmie_a says:

      Bland is a good description of her. She brings quality and professionalism to her work but she doesn’t have that ‘it’ factor that makes her stand out.

      And I will never understand how actors can be shy! I am super shy and took an improv class, thinking it would stretch my limits and help me overcome my shyness… It was horrible! I couldn’t do it – I was too shy. Or maybe I was just too self-conscious, which I guess isn’t the same thing as shy? But it still puzzles me to hear actors describe themselves as shy.

      • Stef Leppard says:

        I’m shy, and I minored in Theater in college. For me, shyness has to do with disliking/fearing interacting with strangers and not being the type of person who can just walk into a party and make new friends. (In fact, people who don’t know me often think I’m a bitch when they first meet me because I’m quiet. And I once had a boyfriend think I was pissed at him cuz I clammed up when one of his buddies came around.) It’s a completely different situation on the stage, where you are transforming into a new person. That’s about imagination, not personal interaction. Anyway, that’s my experience with shyness and acting.

    • Schnee says:

      I still think it’s so weird that she lied about her age for so many years. That makes her so untrustworthy to me.

      (I know that Hollywood has an obsession with young women – but she was always angling for the ‘serious’ roles. The roles of a Meryl or a Helen Mirren. Lying about her age here made no sense. I think it was self-indulgence.)

  5. Hannah says:

    The cover wouldn’t look so weird if there wasn’t a random body of water at the top. Where did that come from? She’s lounging on a red carpet in the middle of a lake? What?

  6. Andrea says:

    I love her but I’m again confused why she’s on the cover. She doesn’t have a movie in the Oscar race right now, does she? It feels like most of the covers this year (Kidman on VF?) were planned way before it was clear who was actually going to be pushed for awards season.

    As much as I like Jessica, wouldn’t this cover be better spent on someone like Emma Thompson, Streep or Amy Adams (who criminally has never had a US Vogue cover) since they actually are the ones with projects?

    • MrsBPitt says:

      I love Amy Adams…In my opinion, a much more talented actress than JC.

    • Ellen says:

      There were rumors that Miley Cyrus was supposed to get the December cover, but she lost it after the VMAs. They might have had to throw this one together and had limited access/time for another woman.

      Or maybe Anna Wintour just really likes Chastain’s look? I think some of these portraits are beautiful.

  7. Kaye says:

    She seems like a mystery to me. She just appeared all of a sudden and was in everything; I never got the sense of her on the edge of Hollywood, working her way into lead roles. I’d like to know her history.

    • bns says:

      I think Al Pacino launched her career (?). They did a play together and then she was everywhere.

    • Maya says:

      Basically she did a bunch of films over a period of several years but for various reasons they all ended up coming out in 2011, so all of a sudden she was everywhere (whereas before 2011 she had been sort of “Hollywood’s best kept secret” because people in the industry knew she was talented but because none of her movies had come out she wasn’t really ‘known’ publicly yet). But she had been working her way up for awhile, with quite a bit of theater and guest-starring roles on TV shows (I think she did an episode of Veronica Mars?). Ironically enough, her first movie – filmed back in 2006 – actually hasn’t come out yet.

    • Maureen says:

      The secret to her mystery — and I sincerely mean this — is that she is incredibly boring. I mean a total snooze-fest. You can’t get a read on a person like that, and because she’s so physically lovely she ends up coming across as mysterious. She might be doing that on purpose so that she keeps herself closed off from the public and keeps her real self for those who are genuinely part of her life. I don’t know. I just know I have no inclination towards her or her movies because she reads so bland to me.

    • emmie_a says:

      I get what you’re saying about the mystery — but being mysterious is interesting or exotic or exciting and I don’t think of any of those things when I think of Jessica. She’s too vanilla. No spice at all.

  8. Tessa says:

    I like the cover. It’s something different, and the colors are very eye catching. I think she looks lovely in the whole shoot.

    • LadySlippers says:

      I dislike the cover so I agree with Kaiser. What’s missing is the balance of other colours which I am sure is visible in the original portrait. The intensity of the yellow, plus the fluidity of the dress, body position, desperately needs the balance of a lower hue like blue. Cropping this pic is what did it in.

  9. Nev says:

    not fashion. grrrrrrrrrrr.

  10. Anna says:

    Whoever thinks these are anything but beautiful is on something.

  11. rio says:

    I endlessly love her, but there Jessica looks kind of depressed and sad. And she deserve better than these ugly closes.

  12. Maureen says:

    I have absolutely nothing against her as an actress or a person. I super- admire that she refuses to date fellow actors. It’s so nice that SOMEONE refuses to be part of the incestuous culture of this business, and is well-rounded enough to form relationships independent of the workplace. However, GOD SHE IS SOOOOOO BORING. I remember reading about her for the very first time a couple years ago when she covered Vanity Fair and OMG I had to prop my eyelids open with toothpicks to get through the article. I don’t even remember if I was able to finish it. I don’t even remember one single thing she said or one single thing I learned about her. She was THAT boring.

  13. Harpreet says:

    If only her dress was green! Then the cover would’ve rocked!!

  14. Reece says:

    I love the Van Gogh inspired one but I love everything Van Gogh, even the slightly weird.

  15. RHONYC says:

    the blue or pale green shots were CLEAR covers.


    wtf was Anna on choosing that? smh

  16. Mari says:

    Lovely ! I love Jessica she’s so talented and beautiful.

    The negative comments on here are pathetic… envious much?

  17. taxi says:

    Ultra pales are not flattering. She turns into a corpse. JC does well in the few things I’ve seen -ToL, The Help, The Debt, Zero Dark 30, Jolene – but not overwhelmingly so. She’s good with Southern accents and her other bankable skill is that she is not beautiful, so her face is blends into whatever “look” is wanted for the part. Amy Adams also has that capacity is a much better actor, imo.
    After all the raves about her performance, I was disappointed when I saw ZD30. JC’s character was so singularly obsessed that her performance was very 1-note which is not something that shows breadth of talent in one role. Displaying a range & variety of emotion within a single movie makes for a stronger candidate as Best Actor or Actress. Nice for JC that she got a nom, but I think her performance was too flat for a win. Not saying it’s her fault – maybe that’s the way it was conceptualized, written, & directed, but still not award-worthy.

  18. wendy says:

    Every time I read or hear someone say US Vogue sucks I cringe.
    Two words.
    She rules. And she has work in that magazine every issue.

  19. Caroline says:

    I find her face interesting