Andrés Muschiettu’s debut horror film, Mama opened this week to mild reviews. No one was outright panning the film but they weren’t raving about it either. The general argument seemed to stem from a lackluster script and manipulative musical cues but hey, I hear the cinematography was great. But perhaps the most intruiging thing about the film is its cast which features the gorgeous and talented Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Jesscia Chastain, who in the last year has rocketed to one of the best working actresses in Hollywood. Sporting a dark, punkier look that’s a far cry from the naturally elegant beauty we’re used to, the film is just one of many acting ventures that has added to Chastain having quite a year.
She’s currently starring in The Heiress on Broadway, took home a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in Zero Dark Thirty last Sunday, and has pretty much a 50/50 chance of winning the Oscar for the film as well. So, whether or not Mama is a stunning success is pretty irrelevant for the actress at this point. Seeing as the role is a little different from the usual work she does, take a look at what she had to say in a recent interview with Indiewire about playing Annabel, the young woman who isn’t quite ready to mother demonic children.
On why she chose the role:
I had just done "The Tree of Life." That was coming out and "Take Shelter." And so many people were talking to me about how they saw me as this "perfect mother" and I got this script and I thought, "This will really throw people for a loop." Because it's a woman who refuses to grow up, she plays bass guitar in a punk band, she's not good enough to ever be famous, she's got a sexy boyfriend who's an illustrator, they live in a loft. She doesn't want any responsibility. In the beginning, when she's forced to deal with these children, she's a little selfish and even unlikable. That was exciting for me to play!
On her tough look and tentacle tattoo:
No it was Andy! At first he said, "I want to put an octopus down your arm." And I said, "Okay, I love the idea of the tattoos but why an octopus?" He said: "Because, when a tentacle gets stuck, it detaches. I think Annabelle must see herself like that." I said: "That is genius, I love it, let's do it!" And the haircut was Alice Glass inspired. [Alice Glass is the lead singer of the Canadian electro-punk band Crystal Castles.]
On the future roles she wants to play:
A western. I want to hold a gun...Yeah, it's like…Enough of the graceful characters…I want to get my hands dirty.
Chastain & Glass