Jessica Chastain, who stars in the upcoming “Miss Sloane” as a high-powered Washington D.C. lobbyist, told TheWrap that the closeness of the presidential election is a “punch in the gut” to her as a woman, and makes it hard to go about her daily life.
“Honestly, I can barely function,” she said of the impending election in an interview last Friday. “I’m so depressed. No matter what happens, unless it’s a landslide [for Hillary Clinton], it’s effing depressing.
“Because there’s so much damage that’s happened. As a woman, it’s just shocking to me to read statistics that say 70 percent of uneducated white men are voting a certain way. It feels like such a punch in the gut.”
In “Miss Sloane,” Chastain’s character is heading the lobbying effort for a gun-control bill; she’s typically one step ahead of the legislators and power brokers who oppose her, but she faces an army of men who seek to use every real and invented ethical lapse to bring her down.
“It’s very timely, isn’t it?” she said with a grin. “And I wasn’t thinking about that when we were shooting it. But when I see what’s happening in this election and in the media, it has really affected me and forced me to look at this character and at the gender politics.”
John Madden, the director of “Miss Sloane,” told TheWrap at a reception for the film on Friday night that he sped up the editing process in order to be out around the time of the election.
“The gun debate may always be there,” he said. “But it seemed that we might have some resonance around the time of the election. And I think that has happened.”
But the film doesn’t open until after the election – and for Chastain, that can’t come soon enough.
“As ugly as what we’re reading in the media is, hopefully we’re making a change and there is some type of healing,” she said. “Because five years ago, we were all living with our heads in the sand about what society was like for women, for people of color. And now it’s in the news every day.”
That talk is in the news – and also, by her choice, in interviews promoting movies. “I want to participate in this election, and I want to speak my mind, and I’m not gong to be afraid,” she said. “Some people say, ‘You don’t want to lose part of your audience!’ You know what? If it happens, it happens. I spend so much time playing characters in movies, but I’m not going to play a character in my real life.”