Jessica Chastain: ‘I’m a nasty woman. I’m proud to be a nasty woman’

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Jessica Chastain is promoting her film Miss Sloane, out December 9th, in which she plays a ruthless Washington lobbyist under investigation by congress. The extended trailer gave me goosebumps (and on a superficial note I really want to get my hair cut like her character’s, I already went red this month in my post-election “change everything” frenzy). It’s a particularly poignant time for a political movie of this nature, featuring a powerful female protagonist. Chastain realizes this of course, and in a new interview with Bustle she makes it clear that she’s a feminist and a fighter and that nothing is going to make her feel apologetic about that. I know she’s not controversial but holy sh-t she always says the right things and I love her so much. Please honk for Jessica Chastain. We need more celebrities who tell it like it is and are bonafide feminists without being clueless asses about it. (See: Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, et al.)

On preserving the nasty woman message after Clinton’s loss…
“I’m a nasty woman. I’m proud to be a nasty woman. It’s a strange thing to say, but I’m not going to let someone make me feel bad for succeeding and using my power.”

On how society views ambitious women…
“You hear of a woman showing that she cares and that she worked hard, having ambition, wanting to do her job well — it’s not something that typically we celebrate in our society. Women like that are labeled as difficult or as ice queens or almost anti-women.”

“We’re all participating in writing the role of what a woman is supposed to be, and I don’t think it’s accurate.”

On the gender wage gap…
“[When we] talk about the wage gap, for so much it’s been about, OK, why aren’t men paying women equally? But then you have to look at it and go, OK, it’s because women aren’t asking for more. That’s what data’s showing… why is that? It’s because in our society, if a woman steps forward, she’s frowned upon.”

On demanding gender equality…
“I think we just have to look at ourselves and how we’re fitting into society and say OK, let’s step forward, let’s ask for pay raises, let’s ask for promotions, let’s get what we deserve, and let’s not ridicule other women for showing up prepared.”

On the reversal of gender norms in Miss Sloane…
“Usually in film, when you see a female lead cha
racter who’s championing something, it’s something that has to do with being female. It’s inherently a female movie, a female issue.” But with Miss Sloane, she says, “I was really excited to see a successful female working in politics that was championing an issue that wasn’t gender specific.”

On the importance of films representing women outside their expected societal roles…
“I was very, very happy to play a character like Elizabeth and show that yes, you can be ambitious, you can be over-prepared, you can be all these things that men have been in the past, and we can still root for that kind of character to succeed. I like women in my life who [are like that], and I like to go to movies where the

[From Bustle]

I bought a “I’m a nasty woman and I vote” t-shirt last month, thinking it would make a nice novelty item when Hillary was in office. I put it away the day after the election and I haven’t worn it again. I don’t feel meek exactly, but am definitely tired and worried about the future. When Jessica Chastain calls herself a nasty woman and says that we should speak the hell up and not be ashamed it’s like a rallying cry for us. It’s not our fault that there’s a wage gap or that assertive women are discouraged and disparaged, but we can do what we can to show that we’re not going away and we’re not shutting up.

These are new photos of Chastain on the set of Molly’s Game in Toronto. She looks amazing with long brown hair like that! She’s also shown at her hand and footprint ceremony earlier this month.
Jessica Chastain spotted in character on the set of 'Molly's Game' filming in Toronto, Canada

Jessica Chastain spotted in character on the set of 'Molly's Game' filming in Toronto, Canada

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photos credit: Pacific Coast News and FameFlynet

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52 Responses to “Jessica Chastain: ‘I’m a nasty woman. I’m proud to be a nasty woman’”

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  1. SilverUnicorn says:

    I’m proud to be a nasty woman too. Nasty forever, yay!!

    ETA: Honk for Chastain, I always liked her.

  2. Alix says:

    A very talented performer, but I saw the Walk of Fame shots and thought, they’ll give a star to just about anyone these days, won’t they?

    • SusanneToo says:

      They gave donald trump one. That’s scraping the bottom of a rancid barrel.

    • Louise177 says:

      A star isn’t important anymore. I think if you raise $50,000 you can get one. I think there’s other requirements but the money is the major thing.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think she’s well deserving of a star. She’s been in a lot of big movies and twice nominated for an Oscar.

    • LWilly says:

      she’s not getting a star on the walk of fame.
      she’s putting her hand prints at mann chinese theater.

  3. greenmonster says:

    I bought a Nasty Woman T-Shirt as well and wear it proudly. Although not everyone understands it here in Gemany.

  4. Who ARE these people? says:

    CB, I hope you will wear that shirt with pride. Now is the time to be visible and proud of taking part in the process. And thanks for the ongoing coverage, too. This is not a normal situation.

    • Celebitchy says:

      Thank you so much. *hugs*

    • Betsy says:

      Hear, hear.

      To quote John Oliver and the New York Times: THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

    • eggyweggs says:

      +1. I know there is some grousing about the political posts, but I hope you will continue with them.

      • Rachel says:

        People have complained about the political posts? I hadn’t seen that. I really appreciate the political posts. I’ve even given up watching the news in the morning because I can’t stomach how they’re normalizing this blasphemy. I come hear instead. So CB, I hope you and the other writers keep fighting the good fight.

    • Shambles says:

      Agree with everyone here. Thank you & the CB team for your astute coverage. It takes strength in these crazy times.

      • Rina says:

        +1 Thank you, Kaiser, and CB team for political coverage.
        +1 Jessica Chastain: you rock as a #NastyWoman

        Kudos to all, Nasty Women. Never back down or give up.

  5. Marguerite says:

    I found out the other day that I was turned down for a job because I am “rough and assertive” and reminded the guy of his ex-wife. All because I didn’t let him sh*t all over some of my co-workers and called him out (politely) on a mess he had made in a communal kitchen. This article helps, to hear about other women and celebrities standing up, and to be a nasty woman. The kicker is I’m not even American, I am Canadian; the ramifications of the election are rippling outward internationally. It’s so important to keep our paths true, and to try and keep our dignity and morals intact, and this goes for everyone, men and women, as it affects us all. We don’t HAVE to be likeable to get the job done. Regardless of our politics or even nationalities, we share a continent and we need to help each other move past and forward, and to stand our ground on what is right.

    Phew! Sorry, that got away from me a little there. Word salad complete.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Dual citizen in Canada here and sorry you got turned down…I hope you move on to something better in every way.

      A housemate once attacked me because I had the *same name* as his ex-wife.

      The trick in Canada is to be polite and nasty at the same time … wait …. we already have a solution for that, it’s called passive-aggressiveness! : )

      • Anners says:

        Seriously, though, about the passive-aggressive! As a Canadian female I’m very uncomfortable with conflict and not being kind/accommodating, having been socialized to be self-effacing and nice. That said, now that I’m 40 (and a feminist) I struggle with not actually voicing my concerns and being a doormat. Sometimes I fall down the dark tunnel of passive aggressive a**holery. It’s a real problem. Le sigh.

      • Anners says:

        Double post – sorry!

      • Mae says:

        Passive-aggressiveness knows no borders, in my experience! This is the trait that will bring us all together ; )

    • Hazel says:

      I recently got turned down for a job because, in part, of ‘how I presented myself.’ Apparently I came across as ‘aggressive’. While listening to this feedback I felt hurt, then angry. My self concept is that I can be assertive when necessary because I know my stuff. You just can’t win sometimes. As for the Nasty Woman tshirt, I didn’t buy one before the election, but think I will now.

  6. Sixer says:

    I’m a nasty woman. I think we should all be nasty women. And I think, by nasty woman, the patriarchy means “woman I can hear”. I read this the other day:

    “Researcher Dale Spencer in Australia used audio and video tape to independently evaluate who talked the most in mixed-gender university classroom discussions. Regardless of the gender ratio of the students, whether the instructor was deliberately trying to encourage female participation or not, men always talked more—whether the metric was minutes of talking or number of words spoken.

    Moreover, men literally have no clue how much they talk. When Spencer asked students to evaluate their perception of who talked more in a given discussion, women were pretty accurate; but men perceived the discussion as being “equal” when women talked only 15% of the time, and the discussion as being dominated by women if they talked only 30% of the time.”

    So you know: let’s be nasty women and let’s be LOUD about it!

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      I’ve always been nasty. Women’s voices are powerful when raised (and even, in this forum, powerful when anonymous!).

    • Betsy says:

      Holy sh. That’s a depressing post to read, Sixer! But important to know.

    • SilverUnicorn says:

      Very interesting Sixer!
      We need to be a lot more assertive. Fight is on!

      @WATP
      A long time ago I used to say that I was a shouter because I had a crapload of ‘octaves’ to spare compared to normal people (I was studying professionally as a singer). Then when I arrived to UK, I was loud because heck I’m originally from Italy and we all shout…
      My husband has given up, because I finally made him understand that I’m loud because I want my voice (=opinion) heard. If he says anything I’m like “buy ear plugs”

    • Shambles says:

      Men truly do have NO idea how much they talk. Or how much they talk just to hear themselves talk. Or how much they only want to hear what they’re saying. Or how, if there’s a man and a woman in a social situation, they’ll always talk to the man. Or how hard it is to participate in a discussion as a woman in an environment like that.

      • I Choose Me says:

        ^This.

        Also soooo many men I know are way more gossipy and nagging than they’ll ever acknowledge. But it’s women who can’t shut up.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        And when they talk, they think what they’re saying is always important just because they’re saying it. Sigh…

  7. Eric says:

    Chastain rocks! Proud of being in Sacramento where she’s from!

  8. suze says:

    You go.

    Co sign on every damn word.

  9. Abbess Tansy says:

    I’m a proud nasty woman too, bought the t-shirt as well. Honking for Jessica too.
    This election season has taught me to speak out more. I was finally brave enough to tell a relative what I really thought about certain social issues that I knew we didn’t agree on (me being more liberal ).

  10. QQ says:

    Well, Go on and cook Jessica! I don’t think anything she said should even be controversial or debatable as a Nasty woman and Overall Prickly person Ive never understood why is it not more accepted to as a woman not be this soft pliant giggly Geisha of a thing, Like im pretty blunt/direct and come off more mordant than a lot of people would like me to ( this btw is something I had to make my bf come to understand that im not the woman that kowtows BS or coddles or says “AWWWW” a lot)

  11. Little Darling says:

    That was a fantastic, well written and well spoken interview with her. It was a rally cry, and also very short and concise sound bytes to pick up on about the how it happened and what to do to now.

    Post election I’m so fragile, and yesterday I saw my VOTE sticker on my “nasty women get shit done mug” and I got so vechlempt. Shit feels so backwards! Tuning out isn’t an option because that’s just my privilege showing up, so I got Myles a NYT subscription and continue to educate myself on who’s being chosen and go from there.

    Someone I admire and respect wrote on FB last week about “where was Hillary now, why isn’t she speaking? Did she ghost America? It was always about her and not the people” and it broke my heart because that is EXACTLY how other women tear women down. This person was never a nasty woman so why pretend that Hillarys words would even make a difference??? Grrrr.

    • Kitten says:

      I miss you so much on the political posts. Are you just burnt out?

      • Little Darling says:

        Well yes, I am SO burnt out, but my head is still in the game of politics, even more so! #2016activistborn. My hours at work changed (I’m on a short hiatus) so I’ve been getting out for 5am hikes in the quiet stillness and that’s usually when the posts here start going live and the banter is lively. Miss you guys so much, but I’m keeping on with my Nasty.

  12. MellyMel says:

    I bought a Nasty Woman tee as well and will continue to wear it with pride. We still have so much work to do. Proud to be #nastywoman. Also I love Jessica (honk!) and can’t wait to see Miss Sloane.

  13. lucy2 says:

    She has really become one of my favorite actors both on screen and off. I love how unapologetic she is (and has been) about feminism and her desire for equality.

  14. jetlagged says:

    Honk for Jessica!

    • lannisterforever says:

      Honk honk honk. I thunk she’s a great beauty and a great actress and based on her interviews seems like a great person too :)

  15. TotallyBiased says:

    HONK for JC!

    HONK FOR NASTY WOMEN EVERYWHERE!!!

  16. paranormalgirl says:

    It sucks and you have to stand up for yourselves in specific and women in general. I remember discovering a research paper I had published had a male assistant’s name listed first when I did all the research and he was the fact/stat checker and proofreader. He saw it first and took steps to correct it before I did, but I also stated my case and discovered that I was called “uppity” and “controlling” by some of the people involved in the publishing. Why shouldn’t I be controlling? It was my research proposal, my leg work, my baby. And why was being controlling considered a bad thing?

  17. Kitten says:

    My brother’s wife has a Nasty Woman t-shirt that she still wears and their dog has a Nasty
    Woman scarf that she permanently sports (which suits her BTW because she’s a feisty gal!)

  18. SwanLake says:

    I’m a nasty woman who thinks Chastain is overrated and unmemorable.

  19. buzz says:

    Proud Nasty Woman

  20. Hulrs says:

    Sure. She should spend some time in a women’s penitentiary and then tell us how nasty she thinks she is.

  21. Trixie says:

    “It’s not our fault that… assertive women are discouraged and disparaged”

    It is when women are the ones doing the discouraging and disparaging. We as women need to stop discouraging and disparaging other women from being assertive, confident, dominant, and going after what we want. Too often women are the quickest to call other women names when they are assertive and dominant. That needs to stop.