The star of Interstellar (in theaters now) and A Most Violent Year (in theaters Dec. 31) is known for her red carpet prowess as much as she is for the strong female characters she plays (Maya of 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty comes to mind). But inside the January InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download Friday, Dec. 12, the 37-year-old tells us finding such diverse, strong female characters hasn’t been easy.
When first embarking on her acting career, she found that “there were two kinds of roles for women,” she tells writer Emma Jane Unsworth. “You are either the girlfriend, incredibly beautiful but not much going on, or the victim, like the weird neighbor. It’s like the two ideas of women that are talked about: the slut or the wife. And that’s not so interesting.”
And so Chastain set out to find better roles for herself. “As an audience member I go to the movies a lot, and I want to see women portrayed like the ones I know—women who are really intelligent and strong and vulnerable,” she says. “I’m not interested in playing a stereotype.”
To learn more about what Chastain is interested in, including a rare glimpse into her intensely guarded love life, pick up the January issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download Dec. 12.