Jessica Chastain Talks Untitled Terrence Malick Drama and Guillermo del Toro-produced MAMA

     August 13, 2011


At the press day for The Debt, in which Jessica Chastain (The Help, Tree of Life) plays Mossad secret agent Rachel Singer – on a mission to track down a Nazi war criminal in East Berlin in 1966 – the actress talked about her next project, doing her first genre film, Mama. Describing it as similar to The Ring and The Orphanage, and it being done by Guillermo del Toro’s company, she admitted to being trepidatious about taking on the role, but also excited about it, for that same reason.

She also talked about working with Terrence Malick again on his still untitled next project, and said she’s not even sure whether she’ll actually end up in the film because she doesn’t even know what it’s about. Check out what she had to say after the jump:

Jessica-ChastainQuestion: What do you look for in a role now?

JESSICA CHASTAIN: To me, it’s always about the script and whether I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m about to go shoot a film that I’ve never done before. I’m shooting a genre film, called Mama, for Guillermo Del Toro’s company. It’s similar to The Ring and The Orphanage. I play a punk character, in a punk band. It’s so different.

I do have trepidation because I think, “Am I going to be able to do this, being in the woods, looking all scared?” But, I feel like the bigger risks I take, the more I learn. I know that I learn more from my failures than success, so the more I throw myself off the cliff and the more scary the part is for me to play, either I fail big – which I will, at some point – and I’ll learn so much about it, or I won’t fail and I’ll do a great film and a great job. To me, those are the things I’ll always try to do.

tree-of-life-movie-image-jessica-chastain-02Is there any news about the untitled Terrence Malick project that you did after Tree of Life?

CHASTAIN: I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t even know if I’m in the film. I was just going to go visit the set because I love the crew and I love Terry so much. When you’re on a Terrence Malick film, it’s like you’re part of a family. And then, the day before I arrived, they said, “Would you play a part?,” and I said, “Sure!”

I don’t know even what the movie is about. But, if I ever get asked the question, “Would you do a day or two, or a week of shooting, on a Terrence Malick film?,” I would always do it. For me, he is one of the greatest teachers I have ever known, about being in the moment and being an actor, but also just what it is to be a wonderful human being. He’s a wonderful person. But, I don’t know anything about that film.

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