[WATCH] Jessica Chastain (‘Miss Sloane’): Her character is ‘an ambitious, over-prepared, one-step-ahead-of-you woman’

“It’s an ambitious, over-prepared, one-step-ahead-of-you woman that actually mentors other women and takes them under her wing,” reveals actress Jessica Chastain about her character of Elizabeth Sloane in the new film “Miss Sloane.” In our recent webchat (watch above), she adds, “Elizabeth Sloane operates at a much-faster engine than I do.”

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The title character in the movie directed by John Madden (“Shakespeare in Love”) is a brilliant yet ruthless lobbyist taking on the gun lobby, the most powerful opponent of her career. The script by first-timer Jonathan Perera takes lots of twists and turns, keeping the audience guessing as to the true motivations and goals of some people. Co-stars include Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, John Lithgow, Alison Pill, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Sam Waterston.

Regarding her crusading character, Chastain says, “She’s much smarter than me. Elizabeth is much smarter than most people I know. That’s also something that’s intimidating to play because how do you play someone who has a greater intellect that yourself? It just really is in the preparation. The words have to come out like she can’t be searching for the words to say. As soon as she thinks of something, she says it.”

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Chastain received supporting actress nominations for “The Help” (2011) at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and SAG Awards (where she and her co-stars won the film ensemble award). She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) and also had Oscar and SAG nominations that year. Other films in the past decade have included “The Debt” (also helmed by Madden), “Take Shelter,” “The Tree of Life,” “Miss Julie,” “Interstellar,” “A Most Violent Year,” “The Martian,” and “Crimson Peak.”

Watch our recent chat with ‘Miss Sloane’ director John Madden

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. How do you think “Miss Sloane” will do with academy voters? Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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