Jessica Chastain has long been an advocate for equality in Hollywood. The actress helped Octavia Spencer get five times her original salary for a movie they worked on together, and she has publicly praised the celebrities who have spoken out against Harvey Weinstein since 2017 – although she admits that being vocal hasn’t exactly been an easy path to take. She received backlash for her comments about the disgraced movie mogul and a fellow A-lister even told her to ‘calm down’.
But she recently revealed that her decision to talk so openly about equality and inclusivity in Hollywood impacted her working relationships early on in her career. In her latest interview with The Independent, the Dark Phoenix star said some male directors told her she was ‘talking too much about this woman stuff.’
When asked what has changed most in the film industry over the last ten years, she replied: ‘One big difference is the freedom women have to speak about the industry. In the beginning, I did feel a little bit of nervousness about criticising an industry that I was very lucky to be involved in.
‘After working my whole life to try to create a career, perhaps I was damaging it. I even had male directors say to me: “You’re talking too much about this woman stuff.”‘
However, Jessica went on to say that women in the industry now have more of a voice than they did, explaining: ‘I just did a press tour [for Dark Phoenix] with Sophie Turner, and the freedom that she has to express herself and talk about injustices that she may see, it just comes naturally to her without a second thought.
‘That means women now feel they can speak out without having their careers harmed.’