Is Jessica Chastain being blocked from promoting ‘A Most Violent Year’?

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Here are some photos of Jessica Chastin and Oscar Isaac opening up the AFI Film Fest with their Oscar-baity offering, A Most Violent Year. Jessica looked pretty, but I think we just have to get used to the idea that she’s never going to be some fashion icon. I think she enjoys fashion and all of that, but she’s always going to be a better actress than fashion-plate. This dress is Roksanda Resort 2015 and it’s perfectly adequate. Her makeup looks particularly good here. And just FYI: this is one of the few times we’re going to see Chastain promote this film this year!

I wanted to point out this New York Times article that made the rounds yesterday – the NYT spoke to sources close to Chastain and sources close to Christopher Nolan and the people putting out Interstellar. The basic gist is that Nolan and Interstellar’s publicity people have outright blocked Chastain from promoting A Most Violent Year simultaneously along with Interstellar. This is really odd, especially considering the fact that more and more often, an actor promotes some smaller film or side project along with their bigger studio fare – it’s very common practice these days. I think this Chastain situation is a little bit different because Nolan thinks the Interstellar cast could possibly be up for awards nominations and Nolan would rather Chastain go up for Interstellar rather than her showy, Oscar-baity role in A Most Violent Year:

Take a good look when Jessica Chastain walks the red carpet at a Hollywood premiere for J. C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year” on Thursday night. It will be one of the rare times she can promote the film, an indie crime drama, through the hottest weeks of this year’s awards season — at least if the makers of “Interstellar” have their way. In a behind-the-scenes scuffle that pits a very big movie, Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” against a very small one, “A Most Violent Year,” Ms. Chastain, a co-star in both, is being blocked from promoting her eye-catching performance as a mob princess in the smaller film.

That is because Mr. Nolan and others, for the most part, are enforcing an agreement that says she cannot campaign for any film but Mr. Nolan’s from early October through early December, with the exception of her appearance at the premiere on Thursday, according to people briefed on the dispute. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject for both sides. Speaking on Wednesday from Washington, Ms. Chastain declined to talk specifically about the blackout. “I never comment about my contracts or my salary,” she said. But she noted that Mr. Nolan had personally helped her get out of an appearance on “The Late Show With David Letterman” so she could attend the premiere for “A Most Violent Year.”

“We all put our heads together and do what we can,” she said.

The current conflict, according to those who described it, escalated as it became apparent that Ms. Chastain, who plays a scientist struggling to save humanity in “Interstellar,” might also be an awards contender for her performance in “A Most Violent Year.” In Mr. Chandor’s film, a tale of corruption set in 1981 New York, she plays the ferocious, mob-connected wife of a struggling heating oil entrepreneur played by Oscar Isaac. Under a deal struck long ago with the makers of “Interstellar,” Ms. Chastain, who has often juggled films in the past — in 2011 she had six, including “The Help” and “The Tree of Life” — is supposed to focus on only the Nolan film for another month.

For stars, hitting the publicity trail is a decades-old practice, and for studios it is a standard, and essential, piece of marketing strategy. Initially, Mr. Chandor and his backers — Participant Media and the independent distributor A24 — believed that Ms. Chastain, while blocked from media appearances, would be allowed to attend the screenings and get-togethers that are de rigueur for those seeking Golden Globes and other prizes that pave the way to the Oscars. On that assumption, they arranged to release “A Most Violent Year” in a small number of theaters on Dec. 31, to qualify it for awards in 2015, with a wider opening to follow. But Mr. Nolan and his backers have insisted that Ms. Chastain’s contract forbids even those semiprivate encounters and have not given in to pleas from Mr. Chandor, A24 and others for a waiver. Next week, however, she will be permitted to attend a private tastemakers’ screening at the Creative Artists Agency here.

[From The NY Times]

The NYT notes that Chastain has been talking about A Most Violent Year during some of her appearances on behalf of Interstellar, but for the most part, she’s been staying on-message. Considering Interstellar comes out today and Chastain has already spent weeks promoting the film in LA, NYC and London, I have to wonder what else they really want her to do? I mean, sure, they could send her on a European tour but that could be completed in a week. And the Asian premieres probably won’t happen for months. So… Jessica is going to have nothing to promote by contractual design for a good month. That’s so stupid and unprofessional. Stupid of Nolan and Paramount (Interstellar’s distributor). I mean, what is really stopping Jessica from saying “f—k this” and going out to promote A Most Violent Year starting Monday? What will Nolan do to her? I mean, really!

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Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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52 Responses to “Is Jessica Chastain being blocked from promoting ‘A Most Violent Year’?”

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  1. Abbott says:

    I’m confused by some of this. If Nolan was blocking promotion for Most Violent Year, why would he need to/be willing to “help her” out of the Letterman stop? And wouldn’t she have known what her Interstellar promo schedule would be like when she signed up for the film? (Honest question, because I have no clue how that works)

    Sounds like someone is trying to garner attention for Most Violent Year or Nolan seriously sh*t in someone’s cereal. Suspect it’s someone whose name rhymes with Mestica Propane.

    • mia girl says:

      I’m going to name my latest garage band The Mestica Propanes.

    • don't kill me i'm french says:

      The promotion is an important part in negociating in a contract ( it’s why Joaquim Phoenix won’t be Dr Strange) She knew since the begining about her involvement and the shedule of Interstellar promo.
      My guess is that A Most Violent Year producers are not happy and wanted she “buys” more the film

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I agree. She would have known about the promoting clause when she agreed to film Interstellar. If she wanted a different set up, she should have had her reps push for it. I can’t really feel bad for someone when things are going exactly according to the plan they agreed to.

  2. Birdix says:

    Seems like mission accomplished with this nyt article.

    • Mia4S says:

      This smells like a Christopher Nolan smear campaign. The article contradicts; “He made her sign an agreement!! Then he helped her get out of the agreement!!”

      God the Oscars are such high school! Now I hope Nolan wins.

    • Mira says:

      The execs for A Most Violent Year are rubbing their hands together and cackling, gooooooood goooooooood.

      Now they don’t even have to pay to fly Jessica Chastain around everywhere.

  3. Jaderu says:

    What will Nolan do to her?

    Make her star in another movie with McConaughey and Hathaway. He’s a monster.

    • don't kill me i'm french says:

      ????

    • Kiddo says:

      Isn’t that a punishment for all of us?

    • GlimmerBunny says:

      I saw Interstellar on Monday and let’s just say that Chastain should NEVER again star in a movie with McConaughey and Hathaway – for their sake. She (and the little girl that played the younger version of her) out-acted them completely.

      Interstellar was a huge disappointment for me (I’m usually the biggest fan of Nolan’s films). It was over-ambitious, messy, too long and very cliche at times. Won’t be any repeat viewings from me and I saw “Inception” 5 times in the theatre!

      • Domino says:

        Oh god, don’t scare me. I love Nolan and was obsessed with Inception. I’m watching Interstellar on Monday. D:

      • Betsy says:

        Interstellar was so over-hyped that it was almost destined to fail. Messy is the word. The audio issues that Nolan’s movies keep having is unacceptable at this point. It’s just SLOPPY to have the dialogue drowned out by the audio. Why does this keep happening in his movies? I read somewhere that Jonah Nolan spent 8 years writing this screenplay, which is getting annihilated in the press. Eight years for this cliche dreck? Atrocious.

      • don't kill me i'm french says:

        @Betsy
        Chris Nolan rewrote the script.
        I read the original script who was on the net several years and i thought it was really good ( it was more in space and less “emotive”)

      • Betsy says:

        Oh really? That makes me mad. I know Nolan has been criticized for making “cold” movies prior to this, but he went way overboard. The dialogue is just pure CHEESE.

      • Kiddo says:

        @Betsy, you are cracking me up. It sounds like a movie to wait to hate-watch when it’s free.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I am so confused now!
        I wasn’t really drawn to the film from the promos, but the hype made it sound like it was something I should see. Then I saw your comments, and thought “oh good, I won’t miss out if I skip it.”
        BUT THEN, I just read the first sentences of Pajib’s review of the movie, which go like this: “Interstellar is the best science fiction film I have ever seen. It’s so good that I hate even putting the “science fiction” condition on that last sentence. It’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.”

        Now I don’t know if it is worth my time or not! This is the time of year I become overwhelmed with movie choices. I wish “award contenders” could be spread out more during the year, and not bunched up like a clusterfck at the end of the year!

      • Mira says:

        It’s out already??? I’ve been in a studying hole!

        Christopher Nolan’s movies aren’t my favorite, but I always have a lot of fun watching them and they’re the best versions of that type of dark, borderline-apocalyptic, overwrought movie genre. I feel like half of the movies that have come out since Inception are trying to be like a Christopher Nolan movie.

        Especially the trailers. BWWWWOOOOOOOOONG!!!!

      • Intro Outro says:

        I cried quite a lot during the last 15 minutes. Doesn’t happen to me that often at the theatre. Had to wait for some time in the bathroom before going out lol.

        The script has its flaws and is quite bumpy, but I absolutely loved the message and the feeling behind it.

  4. don't kill me i'm french says:

    I don’t undestand one point…Interstellar is released now where A Most Violent Year is released in almost 2 months.How can it interfere the promotion of 2 movies?
    Last year,Christian Bale had 2 movies released in 3 weeks whereas he worked in Spain and he was able to do 3 days of promotion in USA for every movie

    And why do the article point Nolan whereas he’s not interested by the promotion ? She knew since the begining how Interstellar’s movie promotion would be ( all is negociated in the contract)

  5. Talie says:

    Jessica worked for years to get where she is, so I can see why she wants to be careful not to piss off the higher powers. These men will always have more influence than her, that’s the sad reality.

    • don't kill me i'm french says:

      M says:

      “She signed a contract, so she knew what she was doing. This is all hungry for Oscar coming from everywhere.
      Initial comments was that she would get a supporting actress nomination for Interstellar. A24 a few months ago announced that she would go for best actress for The Most Violent Year, even though she has a small role.
      Comments for Interstellar were not what people expected. Now she, her team and A24 realized that it is more likely to be nominated for supporting actress for AMVY, are trying to change that.
      These people are desperate for Oscar”

      I believe M is right

  6. Liz says:

    I assume the Interstellar producers want her free for award screenings and the Q & A’s afterwards to increase the likely hood for nominations.

    I’m a big fan so I hope her people didn’t leak this to the NYT as she did sign an agreement to keep that time free for the extra publicity when it was thought that Interstellar would receive a better critical reaction.

  7. lisa says:

    i think jessica would promote getting a new keurig, changing her nail polish and reading a book. she would hit them all hathahard. keeping her from promoting something would be really difficult.

  8. M says:

    She signed a contract, so she knew what she was doing. This is all hungry for Oscar coming from everywhere.
    Initial comments was that she would get a supporting actress nomination for Interstellar. A24 a few months ago announced that she would go for best actress for The Most Violent Year, even though she has a small role.
    Comments for Interstellar were not what people expected. Now she, her team and A24 realized that it is more likely to be nominated for supporting actress for AMVY, are trying to change that.
    These people are desperate for Oscar.

    • Div says:

      I think it’s the studio & producers. Chastain worked her ass off and is 37 (old in Hollywood years and she knows it) so I don’t see her alienating Nolan. Also, contracts are usually done by studios and producers and not directors.

      • don't kill me i'm french says:

        But NY Times attacks Nolan personally

      • Molly says:

        Nolan and his wife are producers on Interstellar and their studio produced it.

      • Mira says:

        I don’t really know the dynamics of Hollwood, but I agree that this seems a risky move on Chastain’s part, unless Nolan doesn’t have much power outside his own studio and someone connected with A24 does.

    • don't kill me i'm french says:

      +1

      My guess also

  9. Amy says:

    I’m confused about the Letterman thing because I watched her on Letterman talking about Interstellar like 2 weeks ago.

  10. Molly says:

    Never before have I witnessed such thirst and desperation for awards as Jessica Chastain. She essentially does an Oscar campaign for every movie that she’s in and if it’s critically panned she abandons it and just moves onto her next release. She will probably do 3-5 movies per year until she gets her Oscar.

    As for this article, I suspect her PR is behind it. She’d be in the Supporting category for either movie and I guess she’s willing to let Nolan take the blame for not allowing her out of her contract to go all Natalie Portman for A Most Violent Year. And from the reviews that I’ve read, her performance in AMVY is nothing spectacular: she does what’s required but it’s nothing above or beyond or awards-worthy.

    • don't kill me i'm french says:

      You’re right.
      Recently she barely promoted Miss Julie.She even prefered to go to the opening of a LA shop than to go to Chicago premiere of Miss Julie

    • amanda says:

      She’s the definition of thirst.

  11. Kate says:

    The weird part is that Amy Adams didn’t seem to have an issue promoting both American Hustle and “Her” at the same time last year. She was ultimately nominated for Hustle but it was pretty common knowledge that her supporting work in “Her” (which was drastically different than her work in Hustle but very, very good) actually helped her get her 5th Oscar nomination. She promoted both movies and it didn’t seem to be an issue. Amy never seemed to complain about it. She made a comment on Letterman that she had no idea both movies would be released at the same time ( since she shot “Her” way before Hustle) but that it was not in her control and she was just doing her best to promote both.

    Can someone with more knowledge explain why this is different?

  12. L says:

    I think she’s lovely, but that dress looks like it’s made out of carpet.

  13. whatsmyname? says:

    Award season makes people extra thirsty. This is probably coming from Jessica and the A24 team, I think they want 1. attention for the movie 2. let people know that she would campaign and promote the movie if she could but since she can’t they are doing this instead so people know she is behind the film.

  14. lucy2 says:

    I’m not buying it, it just sounds like someone is trying to stir up trouble. These promotional things are all planned out and part of the contract.
    If a studio is shuttling their cast across the globe for a huge movie roll out, of course they don’t want an actor using that to promote something else. In a one on one interview, sure, talk about both.

    • Lila says:

      I think JC put all her eggs in the Interstellar basket when she signed her press contract but now that it’s not getting the rave reviews that they expected, she wants out. I hope she gets snubbed for everything in all categories. This kind of desperation should not be rewarded.

  15. Megan says:

    Nolan’s having a bad week. First, Zack Snyder throws him under a bus by going to the press and claiming that Nolan said Marvel movies weren’t real movies. I still don’t know what to believe because I could easily see Nolan saying something as dismissive as that and since Snyder has an ongoing “big” career because of Nolan, why would he lie about that? Then Interstellar’s reviews have been almost laughably bad (great visuals, bad audio, corny story, average acting). Now Chastain’s people are throwing him under another bus by claiming that she’s being blocked from promoting another boring film that no one’s going to see anyway.

    • Mia4S says:

      They story I heard on that was that the studio, after Man of Steel was finished, came back and wanted to add a post-credits scene to imitate the Marvel gimmick (because that’s what it is, a gimmick). Nolan felt that once the movie is made, it is made. A “real” movie wouldn’t add something to imitate something else. Which….he’s right. I’ll see if I can find the link.

      Honestly though I’m sick of post-credits sequences. Too long a wait. Some of us have tiny bladders! :-)

      • Easy says:

        Well I think the point is, the quote makes Nolan look like a jerk and that he is dismissive of other people’s work. Whether or not the post-credits scenes are needed is incidental. These are comic book movies and those scenes are fun and a lot of people look forward to them. Snyder going to the press and telling them that Nolan said that shows what their relationship is like, and that’s funny to me. Nolan responded that the quote is “inaccurate,” which is not quite a total denial but he was forced to explain his stance anyway. I would have loved to have heard the phone conversation between Snyder and Nolan.

      • don't kill me i'm french says:

        @Easy
        There is no conversation between Snyder and Nolan since a moment.Emma Thomas even isn’t the executive producer of Batman Vs Superman anymore as expected

      • Mira says:

        If @Mia4S’ interpretation is correct, then Nolan wasn’t saying real movies don’t put in gimmicks, he was saying real movies don’t copy gimmicks like that (i.e., the end of credits scene is Marvel’s thing, I refuse to hijack it in an attempt to get more attention for the movie we created). I don’t find anything that supports this, but I didn’t look very hard.

        And honestly, I respect Nolan for not backing down from his statements, merely stating it’s inaccurate and leaving it at that as to not start a media firestorm (which would be another gimmick). Again, the best interpretation would be that he doesn’t disdain what Marvel is doing. He may very well think it’s a good idea for the types of movies that Marvel makes. It’s that he wasn’t a fan of what Snyder was suggesting, which was to shoehorn in a competing studio’s idea where it didn’t fit, only to get attention and thus possibly eclipsing the movie itself.

    • manta says:

      “another boring film that no one’s going to see anyway. ”
      Well, I and many people I know became huge fans of the writing/directing of Chandor after Margin call and All is lost.
      I’d wait before calling boring a film done by a man who managed to make a picture about the financial meltdown captivating, another with a single actor and no dialogue equally enthralling.

      Sure, he’s not in the same league as Nolan, and there won’t be the same herds flocking to theaters but there are a few nobodies interested by his boring work (despite the presence of Chastain that I find supremely annoying most of the time, but hey he got a great performance by Demi Moore so anythingis possible).

  16. Sara says:

    “screenings and get-togethers that are de rigueur for those seeking Golden Globes and other prizes that pave the way to the Oscars”

    yuck. so the performance simply doesnt matter. as long as you shake some persons hand and smile they’ll vote for you.

    thats why i always laugh when i read actors, jessica is one of them, who say “i let my work speak for myself”. yeah, then why do you do this stupid campaing stuff? that obviously is just a popularity contest and has nothing to do with the work itself.

    the oscar, at least in the acting categories are such a joke and thats mainly because of that campaign horsecrap and Mr. Weinstein.

    dont those people realize they are taking a lot of value of those awards? why devalue something that you so desperately want? dont they have any self worth to let people do this to them?

  17. Lila says:

    Chastain needs to STOP. This is obviously from her, her pr and A24, because no one connected to Interstellar would go to the press about this issue, and who else would really notice or care if she wasn’t promoting yet another movie? It’s so obviously her that’s behind this. She will stealthily throw anyone under the bus if it gets her closer to her eternal goal of an Oscar. I find her insufferable and she needs to go away for awhile. Her relentless pursuit of an Oscar is like above and beyond anything that I’ve ever seen from anybody else.

  18. 'P'enny says:

    like a dress made from bubble wrap – I kind of like it.

  19. Grant says:

    I disagree, I think she’s really looked fantastic in some of the garments she’s worn–moreso than other actresses who are treated like fashion plates.

  20. Cupcake says:

    She is so beautiful.

  21. Amy says:

    Even if Interstellar gets nominated for Oscars would it actually win anything? Didn’t Gravity just come out last year? Too many space movies in too little time.