Jessica Chastain had a pretty priceless reaction to a question regarding “technique” and Johnny Depp.
In a recent press junket for her new film, Miss Sloane, Jessica Chastain fielded a question that was groan-worthy unto itself: did she have any on-set tricks when it came to learning her lines? The interviewer’s example was that Johnny Depp is known to have his lines fed to him via an earpiece during shoots. This precipitated an eye roll from Chastain that should’ve given her vertigo. It was an eye roll to end all eye rolls. Impenetrable shade.
First of all, why is this reporter bringing Depp up at all? He’s nowhere in this film. Frankly, he’s arguably not on most of the industry’s radar anymore, outside of his money escapades and Pirates Of The Caribbean (the ride, mostly). Why is anyone talking about him? And how can anyone in good faith use his name in the same sentence as the word “technique”? Yeah, I went there. Come at me, bro.
But like any classy lady, Chastain took the high road. “I guess my technique is working hard,” she responded without the slightest ounce of sarcasm. “So on the weekends before I go into my work week I memorize.” (To be honest, as an actor, I take issue with this statement as well but I don’t want to split hairs/it’s beside the greater point right now). She continues, “I’ll spend my entire day working on the script and the scenes I have coming ahead.” That just sounds like…. I don’t know, a professional? I think that’s how a professional conducts herself.
Male Actors and their Egos
I think this speaks to a greater issue of making leading male actors the standard to which the entertainment industry holds up actresses.
In a way, Depp and Chastain are not even on the same level; Depp’s career has been longer, but Chastain has been nominated for almost as many awards. Depp’s career took off when he dropped out of high school and became friends with Nicholas Cage.
The same happened for Chastain after she spent four years in Juillard’s drama program. And several more years after that booking television shows and off-Broadway plays. Depp’s reported salary for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was $35 million. Chastain apparently made just over $1 million for The Martian in 2016. Tell me now that that eye roll wasn’t completely warranted.
Given all this information, it’s insulting that this interviewer tried to draw parallels between a man who has been repeatedly rewarded for bad behavior his whole life, and a woman who is trying to do quality work at a high level in her industry. If the same happened between two men, people would take note! With all that said, thank you, Jessica Chastain. Thank you for reacting the way we were all feeling about that loose cannon of a man. Miss Sloane is now available to stream on Amazon.