Jessica Chastain says she will ditch Oscars red carpet to cheer on the ‘Tammy Faye’ makeup and hairstyling team

Jessica Chastain is standing by her makeup man (and women). The Best Actress front-runner for her starring role in “The Eyes of Tammy Fayeappeared on The Next Best Picture Podcast this week and stated that she will “absolutely be present when the makeup team [and] the makeup category is being called. And if that means I’m not doing press on the red carpet, or ABC, or whatever it is, then so be it.”

In case you are just tuning in, this is all to do with the academy’s controversial decision to excise eight categories from its live telecast this year. Among those categories is Best Makeup and Hairstyling, the trophy for which has a strong shot of going to the “Eyes of Tammy Faye” team of Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram, and Justin Raleigh. (The film just won in the category at the BAFTA Awards and Critics Choice Awards.)

The presentation of this award (and others, including Best Score, Best Editing, and Best Production Design) will happen just prior to the commencement of the telecast, in which most A-listers will be making their grand entrance and saying a few words to interviewers. Invitees can sit and watch as the prized get handed out, of course, but many will likely be milling in the back, networking, and trying to be seen. It’s a little bit of a mess, quite frankly.

Oscars producer Will Packer swears that “no one will be shortchanged,” and that the eight winners will have their moment of glory seamlessly edited into the broadcast. Whether those speeches will be truncated remains to be seen, but the moment of anticipation as names are read will certainly be lessened, as the winners will already be known to most people who truly care about this stuff. 

Chastain continued, “the most important thing for me is to honor the incredible artisans who work in our industry.” She added that she understood that actors are the “face” of filmmaking (“you go to a movie and you see us”) so it makes sense she and her cohort would get most of the attention. But she stressed that this is only one ingredient in the roiling cauldron that makes movie magic.

“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” is up for two Oscars: Best Actress and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. In the latter category, it is up against “Dune” (its top competition), “House of Gucci,” “Cruella,” and “Coming 2 America.” It is the first nomination for Dowds, Ingram, or Raleigh. Chastain has previously been nominated for Best Actress for her role in “Zero Dark Thirty,” and for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “The Help.” She’s swept through awards season thus far, winning Best Actress at the Screen Actors Guild Award and Critics Choice Awards. She was not nominated at the BAFTA Awards, but in a bit of a twist, neither were any of her fellow Best Actress Oscar nominees (Olivia Colman, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, and Kristen Stewart).

The full 20-minute interview can be heard here.

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