Q&A Why ac­tor Jes­sica Chas­tain doesn’t mind fly­ing un­der the radar.

``when­ever some­one says they loved high school, I´m like, `re­ally?´´´

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - In­ter­view by JAMES MOTTRAM

You fly un­der the radar in terms of the me­dia. Did you de­cide not to court fame early in your ca­reer? The great thing about not be­ing fa­mous when you’re 18 or 19 years old is that you have time to sit back and re­ally look at the in­dus­try. The peo­ple I ad­mire and re­spect, I didn’t know any­thing about their per­sonal lives. I knew they were mar­ried or had kids, maybe, but I didn’t know what the kids’ names were or what the kids looked like – I’m talk­ing about Cate Blanchett or Is­abelle Hup­pert. And I loved that; I re­ally wanted that for my­self. So when I’m not work­ing, I can be with my friends and fam­ily and not feel like they’re part of the conversation. I want a sep­a­ra­tion between my work life and my per­sonal life. When you started out, your younger brother’s friends didn’t know you were an ac­tor. Did they find out? At the end, they started to re­alise. In fact, he told me re­cently – I felt so bad for him – that in his last year of high school, peo­ple he didn’t know would go up to him and say, “Hey, say hi to Jes­sica for me!” High school is al­ready dif­fi­cult enough, but I felt bad [be­cause] he’s try­ing to see if peo­ple are re­ally in­ter­ested in him or they’re in­ter­ested in him be­cause he has a sis­ter who is in the in­dus­try. How do you look back on high school? High school is ter­ri­ble! When­ever some­one says, “I loved high school!” I’m like, “Re­ally? Hmm…” I hated it. I hated be­ing in classes – I felt like I wasn’t learn­ing any­thing – so I would sit in my car and read As You Like It. You were a Shake­speare geek? Com­pletely true! It’s so nerdy. I have a key ring from the Ore­gon Shake­speare Fes­ti­val, which my high-school boyfriend gave me. In­scribed on it, it says, “Look­ing for­ward to work­ing with you here.” That was my dream, to work at the Ore­gon Shake­speare Fes­ti­val. In your new film, Miss Sloane, you play El­iz­a­beth, a ruth­less lob­by­ist who be­comes em­broiled in the gun- con­trol de­bate. What did you learn about this con­tentious is­sue? In the US, the pop­u­lar opin­ion is peo­ple want stricter gun reg­u­la­tions, right? But why can’t you get a bill passed? I love that the film ex­plores [that] a politi­cian can’t prop­erly serve the peo­ple they rep­re­sent be­cause their pri­or­ity is keep­ing their seat in of­fice. When I went to [Wash­ing­ton] D.C, I saw this first­hand. They go to fundrais­ers every day, just to get money to main­tain their spot. We know you can act, but do you have any hid­den tal­ents? I can sleep any­where. I can sleep on an air­plane – which is why I can travel back and forth so much for work. But I’ve also fallen asleep in the bath­tub be­fore. It’s a ter­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion, ac­tu­ally! Has the Hol­ly­wood di­ver­sity de­bate changed any­thing? It’s def­i­nitely chang­ing. [The de­bate] has been strong for a year-and-a-half. [But] the dan­ger is to say that it’s fixed. When­ever you have any­thing like that… like, “OK, I’m on a diet,” and you lose the weight and go, “I’m done!” Then you go back to the way you were be­fore. I think it’s some­thing that you have to keep work­ing on. Miss Sloane is in cin­e­mas on March 2.

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