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Jessica Chastain’s Memory director was warned she would be ‘a nightmare’ after Oscar win

Written by on September 16, 2023

Memory director Michel Franco was warned Jessica Chastain would be “a nightmare” to work with following her Oscar win.

In a joint interview with IndieWire, Chastain and Franco revealed that the filmmaker was warned she would either drop out of his independent movie or be difficult to work with following her Best Actress win for The Eyes of Tammy Faye in March 2022.

“Because I have been doing bigger things sometimes and have gotten a lot of attention as of late, (there’s been the idea) that I would not be interested in being on a set without a trailer,” Chastain said. “We had the Oscars, and I won for Tammy Faye, and then right after that, I showed up on set to do Memory. Michel said that a lot of people told him, ‘Oh Jessica is going to leave your film because she just won an Oscar.'”

Franco added, “Or that she is going to show up and be a nightmare and be a diva. I told them, you don’t know half of it. She’s the opposite. She’s going to show up satisfied, happy, and be productive. People are so afraid of actors. I don’t know why.”

In Memory, Chastain plays Sylvia, a recovering alcoholic grappling with childhood trauma, alongside Peter Sarsgaard. The actors had no trailers during the shoot and Chastain wore no make-up and bought her own costumes.

Franco noted that his stakeholders were “puzzled” about accommodating an Oscar-winning actress on their low-budget set.

Chastain responded, “I’m not doing a movie to be pampered. If I want to be pampered, I’ll go to a spa. I’m doing a film to work and to be creative, and I don’t need to sit by myself in a trailer.”

Chastain, Sarsgaard and Franco have been allowed to promote Memory at the film festivals in Venice and Toronto as the production received a SAG-AFTRA interim agreement.


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