During the 30th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, I had the chance to interview one of my favorite actresses, Jessica Chastain, who is the new face of Piaget. The beautiful «redhead» has established herself as one of the finest film actresses of her generation, earning numerous award nominations. In 2012, Time magazine featured her as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World“.
Trained at the Julliard School in New York City, she made her feature film debut in Dan Ireland‘s «Jolene» in 2008. Since then, she has earned critical acclaim for her leading roles in many major movies including among many others Kathryn Bigelow‘s «Zero Dark 30», for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama and received her 2nd Academy Award nomination.
Her most recent box office success came from her role in JC Chandor‘s «A Most Violent Year», for which she was honored with a Golden Globe nomination. She will next be seen in Guillermo Del Toro’ latest movie «Crimson Peak» and Ridley Scott’s «The Martian», both set for release Fall 2015.
«I am not so interested in being like everyone else.»
Two years ago, I met you at the amfAR gala at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes and was impressed by your kindness and great aura. What helps you to be that grounded?
Tough thing to answer. I feel so grateful, my whole life I wanted to be an actor and to be part of the magic of what making movies are and I get to do it. There is not one day that I forget how special that is.
Which character would you love to play that you haven’t played yet?
I can tell you for theatre. I would love to play Roselynne in «As You Like It» because it is my favourite Shakespeare character but for film, I don’t know because maybe the role isn’t written yet. When I look back on films that I love from the 30s and 40s, the amazing performances, like Rita Hayworth, it’s I wouldn’t want to make a remake of those roles because it kind of looses what was so special about the original. I am gonna answer perhaps it is not written yet.
During our photo shoot for the new Possession campaign for Piaget in Paris recently.
You have the most beautiful hair. Do you think that being a «redhead» has influenced you, your career? How was it in your childhood? Blessing or curse?
If there is something about you that is unique and different, you have to celebrate it. That is what you have to love and this is what you makes you special as you get older. I am not so interested in being like everyone else. I like to meet people that are different, that are strange, that have different point of views and challenge my own way of thinking. When you are in a group, it is so much more interesting when there is so much individuality that becomes the group. So that’s what I think about the red hair.
You have been also the ambassador of the YSL fragrance, «Manifesto», and now you are the face of Piaget. How do you choose the right brands to collaborate with?
The reason why I love Piaget is first of all their engagement towards the Independent Film Spirit Awards. They have been the main sponsors for eight years. I love independent cinema, this is where my heart lies. Independent cinema celebrates diversity and creativity and for a brand like Piaget to sponsor it, means that it goes along with their believes, with their designs, the artwork is truly important to me, so working with Piaget was a no-brainer.
What is your first memory of Piaget?
I think the watches are so incredible. Think about Jackie Kennedy with her most exquisite watch. I have worn Piaget for the first time at the Golden Globes, an amazing bracelet that was all diamonds but is was actually a watch. I have never seen such precision, beauty and art. This is the strongest memory I have of wearing their jewelry.
What was your first piece of jewelry? And can you tell us the story how you got it?
Probably a piece of jewelry that I got from my grandmother. It is not something you could wear. I don’t even know how to call it. It is covered in jewels and you can pull out one section for perfume and in the other section you can put your lipstick in. It is so special and beautiful. It means so much to me because it is from my grandmother that is very close to me.
Would you buy a piece of high jewelry yourself? Or does it always have to be a gift?
Of course, I like jewelry as a gift, jewelry is very sentimental, very emotional. But I have bought jewelry for myself. It makes me feel very independent, very powerful to be able to buy my own jewlery. I don’t require that it is always bought for me.
What is your favourite piece of jewelry? And why?
I wear earrings right now that I am obsessed with but I don’t own them. For daily life, I have a pair of diamond rose earrings from Piaget which are my favourites at the moment.
Do you like roses, flowers? What do they mean to you?
Flowers are so beautiful to me. Look at the connection between flowers and art. The sensuality what a flower is. A flower is life. It is life and art together and romance. That is probably why I love the earrings so much.
What is the most beautiful jewelry a woman can wear?
A secret about you that we don’t know yet.
(Laughs). I have a lot of secrets but I cannot think of any that I want to tell to the world.
Jessica Chastain in three words.
I have to give you more than three. I am loyal, very very loyal. I am a hard worker, I work so much and I am passionate.
Thank you, Jessica!
Photos: © Steve Granitz/WireImage, Courtesy of Piaget and © Sandra Bauknecht
This interview was also featured in L’Officiel Switzerland.