Friday, September 9, 2011

Spotlight on: Jessica Chastain

Chastain in blonde wig as Celia Foote

This beautiful young and smart actress with ginger hair and a million dollar smile came on the scene looking like Christina Hendrick's hypothetical younger sister, and let's face it, as it stands now, Gingers are in: with the formerly mentioned Mrs. Hendricks, Emma Stone, and Bryce Dallas Howard pioneering the road of fiery hair and fiery personalities it's a new brand of sexy that we can all get on board with. 
Jessica Chastain seemed to appear almost from nowhere. All of a sudden she's walking the red carpet at Cannes side by side with Tree of Life director Terrence Malick, in which she starred. Since then, she's been tapped for some of the most important projects in cinema right now; huge hit The Help, Ralph Fiennes' contemporary Shakespearian adaptation and directorial debut Coriolanus, as well as Al Pacino's docu-drama of Oscar Wilde's play 'Salome' titled Wilde Salome and playing Helen Mirren's younger incarnation in The Debt, all to be or already released this year. The girl is on fire right now, and her introduction into mainstream and serious cinema is a pretty solid one. 
She has a Meryl Streep quality; that of intrigue, beauty, and intellectualism that brings forward very nuanced and meticulous performances. And lets not forget that she's pretty much smokin'. 
She is introduced in The Help by two long, statuesque legs walking daintily across the pool side of her luxurious country  home, and a voice quiveringly yet sensually speaks on the telephone outside of frame. Then the camera pulls out and we see Chastain as quirky but troubled Celia Foote, sporting a loud bright yellow 60's two-peice and a Marilyn Monroe haircut and cat eye sunglasses. Later in the film, bright red lipstick, tight and low cut tops, and high heeled pumps accent her appeal as she plays the quintessential stock character of the 'dumb blonde' with a certain level of depth and sympathy. 
She is a very interesting presence on screen and I can totally understand why directors are fighting over her and why she's able to have so many releases in only one year coming out of a modest background of a few guest spots on TV shows. I don't think it will take much time for her to become a household name. She's well on her way to becoming the next Julia Roberts, and if she plays her cards right, the next Meryl Streep. She is a new brand of sexy that is currently very popular which is the intellectual sexy; a girl that is etherial, intelligent, and sensuous. Smart-Hot is back, and it's taking names. 

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