Director Michel Franco was issued ‘inaccurate’ warning about Jessica Chastain post-Oscar win

Jessica Chastain has said that director Michel Franco was inaccurately warned about working with her after she won an Oscar.

In 2022, Chastain took home Best Actress forThe Eyes of Tammy Faye, in which she played the TV evangelist alongside Andrew Garfield.

However, this victory prompted people to predict she would develop “diva” habits on films sets, and made such a prediction to Michel Franco, with whom Chastain was set to collaborate with soon after her Oscar win.

Speaking at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), where the new film, titled Memory, was premiered, Chastain explained: “Because I have been doing bigger things sometimes and have gotten a lot of attention as of late, [there’s been the idea] that I would not be interested in being on a set without a trailer..”

IndieWire reports Chastain as saying: “We had the Oscars, and I won for Tammy Faye, and then right after that, I showed up on set to do Memory. Michel said that a lot of people told him, ‘Oh Jessica is going to leave your film because she just won an Oscar.’”

Franco corroborated this, saying that people told him Chastain would “show up and be a nightmare and be a diva”. He said that the actor was “the opposite”.

“I told them, ‘You don’t know half of it – she’s the opposite. She’s going to show up satisfied, happy, and be productive.’

“People are so afraid of actors. I don’t know why. The worst way to approach an actor or any person is with fear, and if you are pointing in the wrong direction then, yes, all your nightmares will come true.”

Chastain appears in the filmas social worker Sylvia alongside Peter Sarsgaard, who won Best Actor at Venice Film Festival earlier this month for his role.

Earlier this week, Chastain called out a “shady and clickbait headline” for an article that detailed how the actor shopped for her own costumes to wear in the film.

Jessica chastain and Michel Franco (Getty Images)
Jessica chastain and Michel Franco (Getty Images)

Chastain has been able to promote Memory during the actors’s strikes as the film is among several movies and TV shows deemed “truly independent” that were granted interim agreements by SAG-AFTRA.

But she said she was still “nervous” to attend both Venice and Toronto’s film festivals in an impassioned speech to explain her presence.