When you think of the best of Jessica Chastain’s performances, ‘Coriolanus’ never quite comes to mind. It’s not because Chastain is not good in it – realistically, she’s phenomenal in every performance she gives out – but because it’s never considered one of her ‘big’ acting highlights. When you think of 2011, otherwise known as the year of Jessica Chastain, the films that come to mind are mostly ‘Tree of Life’ and ‘The Help’.
However, according to a recent interview with Chastain [in the Huffington Post], Kathryn Bigelow cast Chastain in the film because of her performance in ‘Coriolanus’, something Chastain wasn’t even privy to when she was cast. When Chastain was talking about, she says, “I think so. I mean, to be honest -- because I didn't audition for this -- I don't know what Kathryn Bigelow saw to think, She's perfect for Maya.”
She talks further about being cast in the film, saying, “I guess they had inquired about me -- I was making a movie in Toronto and I had a movie after that already scheduled. So they were told, "She's busy." And then I worked with Megan Ellison on a movie called "Lawless," and I came to L.A. for a weekend to do press for one of the many movies last year. And I got a text message [from Megan] that said, "If I ever ask you for anything, please call me right now." So I called her back and she goes, "There's this movie. They want you, but we were told you're not available and I cannot accept 'no' for an answer." She was really gung-ho about it. The next week, Kathryn Bigelow called. The second I read the script, I was on. I said, "You guys make the schedule work, I'm there."
Chastain also does comment on her amazing 2011, saying, “Yeah, especially to kind of go from zero to everything. I went from one disappointment to another. Where I'd be so excited about having a premiere and bringing my grandmother and my mom -- and we would set it up and it would get canceled for some reason. That a studio would get sold or, you know, Terrence Malick wasn't ready to show the film yet. There were so many last-minute changes and disappointments that I felt like, Well, I'm just going to keep on trucking and we will see what happens. Then when it all came out at once, it went from being so unlucky to being very lucky.”