Jessica Chastain is doing her part to stand up against gender inequality. Like thousands of others, she attended the Women’s March on Washington in January. She’s also involved with two production companies, Freckle Films and We Do It, that are geared toward empowering women in Hollywood. But as it turns out, Chastain might just be talking about all this “women stuff” a bit too much. At least, that’s what a male director told her.
In a cover story for this month’s American Airlines in-flight magazine, American Way, Chastain spoke of her frustration with the entertainment industry’s gender problem. “I just don’t know why it’s not changing,” she told American Way. “I’m doing my part to make the change, so why isn’t everyone else?” But despite her passion for the cause, she also told the publication that she’s felt pressured by people within the industry to keep her feminist beliefs to herself. Per American Way:
“I had one male director say to me that I talk too much about all of this ‘women stuff.’ This is a person I love, and maybe he was concerned I would hurt my career.” She pauses. “I’m not attacking anyone. I’m trying to create more inclusiveness, compassion and empathy — which in turn makes better movies, better art.”
Chastain has been nominated for two Academy Awards and is one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood, so talking about “women stuff” has clearly been damaging to her career.