Why Jessica Chastain Likes Working With Female Directors

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty

There are a lot of women in Hollywood. Women who do behind-the-scenes work like costume design. Women who are big name actresses on both the big screen. Women who work on the backend, editing pictures and doing other exciting work on the post-production end. While more and more women have gotten involved with moviemaking over the years, famous actress Jessica Chastain has still noticed there is too often a lack of women or at least fewer women on sets she has worked on. She recently revealed why she loves working with female directors, and on any crew that features a lot of women. Here's why.

I didn't experience anything different in terms of working with a woman to working with a man. For me, filmmaking isn't gender specific, which is why we need more women in filmmaking, because women can do it too, right?

According Jessica Chastain, working with female directors has been comforting to the actress, who has collaborated with the likes of The Zookeeper's Wife's Niki Caro, Zero Dark Thirty's Kathryn Bigelow, Miss Julie's Liv Ullmann and others. Insofar as female directors are concerned, her experiences were similar with that of working with male directors, and the actress said that even when she is with a male director she prefers a more female experience on set; for example, in Aaron Sorkin's Molly's Game, there are "no shots of the camera going up my leg."

Jessica Chastain has long been a proponent of including and inspiring more women to get involved in film. Although strides have been made in Hollywood to be more inclusive to women over time, a study that came out a few months ago revealed only 7.7% of directors are actually women. Only 29% of leading actors are women, as well. Including women, especially in prominent roles, is a concept a lot of fields have struggled with, but Hollywood is notable because entertainment has so many mediums and is so popular and relevant in society.

Speaking on Variety's Actors on Actors series alongside Holly Hunter, Jessica Chastain also said she believes sets as a whole benefit from having more ladies around. She noted:

When there's more balance on set in terms of more women on the crew, more women in positions of power -- it's just a healthier set to be on. Everyone's happier. It's a great place to be.

So, if you are planning to try to sign on Jessica Chastain to your next movie project, you now know exactly what she's looking for. As noted prior, the actress can next be seen in Aaron Sorkin's Molly's Game, a movie that is considered to be an awards hopeful this season. The actress is also attached to a slew of upcoming movies, including X-Men: Dark Phoenix, another comics movie Painkiller Jane, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, and Seducing Ingrid Bergman. To see what awards hopefuls are also coming up soon, take a look at our movie schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.