John Madden Q&A: ‘Miss Sloane’ director

“I’m kind of a junkie for the American political process,” admits director John Madden as we chat via webcam (watch above) about his new film “Miss Sloane.” This EuropaCorp release stars Jessica Chastain as Elizabeth Sloane, a brilliant and ruthless lobbyist taking on the most powerful opponent of her career: the gun industry. Madden, who hails from England, divulges, “Anybody who stands outside American politics is, I would say, baffled by this very intransigent issue of legislation surrounding guns.”

The Oscar-nominated “Shakespeare in Love” (1998) helmer was further drawn to Jonathan Perera‘s screenplay because of its central character, “a woman notable for the extraordinariness of her power and effectiveness within an otherwise famously male enclave.” Miss Sloane, “is conducting a professional existence which doesn’t seem to have much else going on besides that,” and the film, “describes how she discovers what of herself she’s left behind.” It’s, “a more familiar story if you switched the genders and made that role a man. That maverick outsider figure is a sort of stalwart of American movies, but never as a woman.”

The film reunites Madden with Chastain, whom he previously worked with on “The Debt” (2010). “Jessica has an unusual ability to hold both poles of a character in perfect balance with one another,” he reveals. “This is a sort of fearless creature that she’s playing,” who, “has a sort of ferocity about her that’s breathtaking.” At the same time, “she’s a woman in free-fall to an extent.” The actress was perfect for the role because she, “is an incredibly intelligent person,” who also has, “a fragility about her that allows her to inhabit the underneath of all of that before she puts on the armor that becomes the character you see.”

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UPLOADED Nov 22, 2016 11:32 am