Jessica Chastain is looking to double-up on Golden Globe nominations next year, if the Golden Globes are still a thing (and they probably are not). She’s currently promoting The Eyes of Tammy Faye, which could totally score Chastain several big awards nominations, and Scenes from a Marriage. Jessica covers the latest issue of DuJour to promote both projects. I don’t think I realized before now that Jessica was the one who put the Tammy Faye film together, and she was the one who bought the rights to the documentary of the same name. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:
Getting the rights to the documentary: “I knew about Tammy from what I’d seen on Saturday Night Live, but I actually had never seen her give an interview until I watched the documentary. My impression from sketch television was that she cried all the time, she was a crook and always had mascara running down her face.” But Chastain found herself particularly moved by the film and Messner’s message that “everyone is deserving of love,” she explains. So she called her agent and manager and bought the narrative feature film rights to the documentary herself.
She likes to change the industry: “But I have these ideas that we have to push against an old-fashioned way the film industry has worked….[But] creating [film and television] is a lot of work. There are so many headaches on the producing side. It’s so much easier when someone sends you a script. But I’ve never been the person who says to go with the status quo. I’d studied the industry for a long time. If I’ve been given this golden ticket, I understand how lucky I am to do what I do. For me not to use my platform to do something positive for others just feels irresponsible.”
The hours she spent in makeup to become Tammy Faye: “I just wanted to cry. People don’t understand that [that kind of makeup] takes a lot of energy, but I used that time to listen to her voice. I just rewatched and rewatched her on video. I’ve seen every video she’s ever done.”
Having to sing as Tammy Faye: She’s sung on films before “but I’ve never sung like Tammy Faye. To be honest, I was supposed to pre-record [a few tracks] and I was so scared. I drank whiskey and Throat Coat [tea]. With Tammy Faye, it always sounds like she’s hollering to heaven.”
She was terrified the whole time: “There were so many parts of making this movie that terrified me. On the first day of shooting, I started shaking before the first take. That’s never happened to me on a movie, and it was so embarrassing. But I thought, If I’m going to throw myself off this cliff, I’m going to jump off the deep end. People might really make fun of me. But Tammy Faye probably thought that every day, and she did it anyway.”
Making Tammy Faye: It was “the most difficult thing I’ve ever done and the scariest thing I’ve ever done. But I did it because it needed to be told. I’m not very good at toeing the line and keeping the status quo. I’ve never been good at that.”
Something that occurred to me, bizarrely, as I read this piece was that Tammy Faye probably did her own makeup for a big chunk of her life, right? Maybe she had makeup artists when she and Jim Bakker were on television constantly and the money was rolling in. But even then, I bet Tammy Faye probably preferred to “put on her face” like always. I wonder if Jessica ever considered doing it that way, and applying the makeup herself? That would have taken up even more energy, I guess, and she found it so exhausting to… sit in a makeup chair. Plus, Jessica wears facial prosthetics to make her face more square and Tammy-esque, and it’s not like she can do that herself.
Cover courtesy of DuJour.