On the red carpet for the AFI Fest premiere of Miss Sloane, Jessica Chastain touched her co-star Alison Pill’s arm. It was a brief, grim moment, just three days after the first female presidential candidate of a major party lost the election.
“We haven’t seen each other since…” Chastain said, trailing off. Pill touched her pregnant belly. “I know. Baby girl,” she said. “I thought this was gonna be a different sort of evening.”
In Miss Sloane, out Nov. 25, Chastain stars as Elizabeth Sloane, a lobbyist who, not unlike Hillary Clinton herself, is perceived as cold and thus is the object of speculation about her gender. A film about a brilliant, tactical woman prevailing in D.C. is timely in the year Democrats fielded a female candidate — perhaps even more timely now that the former senator and secretary of state has lost to a candidate with no political experience, who’s best known as a reality television host. Chastain laughed at a question about Clinton. “This is my nightmare, to be doing press for this movie this week,” she said.
She cited the misogyny Clinton faced during the campaign. “The first debate, Hillary’s criticism was that she was over-prepared,” Chastain said, with a mirthless smile. “I’ve never heard anyone say that about a man in any kind of job.”
Stunning preparedness is, notably, what defines Chastain’s character. “Women should know that it’s okay to be over-prepared,” the actor said. “It doesn’t make them difficult, it doesn’t make them the b-word. To be over-prepared, to be ambitious, I think it makes them powerful.”