Jessica Chastain has credited Al Pacino with teaching her how to convey emotion on camera.
The actress and film producer trained at Juilliard School and has gone on to become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, garnering critical acclaim for her performances in Zero Dark Thirty and The Help.
Although Chastain studied her craft at the prestigious New York performing arts school, she has now revealed that it was actor and filmmaker Pacino who really pushed her as an actress when they were working together on 2013 drama Salome.
“(The camera) can see more into you than your scene partner. Look at it not like it’s a separate thing but like it’s part of your body almost; it has a direct link to your soul,” she said of Pacino’s advice in an interview held as part of The Hollywood Reporter’s Actress Roundtable. “Whatever you’re feeling, you can try to hide it, but the camera is going to get it.”
Chastain has made no secret of her desire to portray complex female characters, and is currently promoting Oscar-winning writer Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut Molly’s Game.
The film tells the story of real-life poker queen Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who left the sport to host high stakes gambling card games for Hollywood heavyweights, and the star is thrilled to be playing a character in charge of her own destiny.
“When I read the script, I was like, ‘I can’t believe he is telling this story,'” she shared during the chat.
“There is so much in this film that deals with what a woman has to do to try to find some bit of success, to find some sense of power over her own life. And I’m really impressed that Aaron Sorkin, who could have told any story that he wanted, chose to tell that story.”
Molly’s Game is due to hit cinemas from late December (17).