Jessica Chastain has been edited out of the upcoming film The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, director Xavier Dolan has announced.
The film – starring Kit Harington, Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon – follows a US TV star (Harrington) and his pen pal communication with a young actor, which is exposed to the public. It’s Canadian director Dolan’s English-language debut and is said to be in its final stages of postproduction.
In an update on the film’s edit, Dolan took to Instagram to say that Chastain’s character has been removed from the final cut, but claims that the decision “has nothing to do with” her performance. Check out the post below.
“What you need to hear from me is that Jessica Chastain’s character, after what was a long period of reflection, had to be cut from the film,” Dolan said in the lengthy post. “It was an extremely difficult decision to make. I feel, toward Jessica, a very sincere love, and a great admiration. The decision was editorial and narrative, in that it has nothing to do with a performance, and everything to do with a character, and the compatibility of its storyline.”
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Please bear with me and read. Perhaps not the news you were waiting for, but something I had to tell you nonetheless. I will have other kind of information over the next few weeks. Please don’t doubt my eagerness to share The Death and Life of John F. Donovan with you. – XD
The director elaborated: “This ‘villain’ subplot, albeit funny and entertaining, didn’t feel like it belonged to the rest of the story, which ended up not being on heroes or their nemesis, bur [sic] rather on childhood, and its dreams.”
“Jessica has, since the very beginning, defended this project, and defended me on so many occasions,” he continued. “She is a terrific actress, a politically engaged artist, what is more, who relentlessly champions the causes she believes in. She is respected by her peers, and beloved by her public.”
Last month, Chastain demonstrated the differences between male and female movie roles. The actor appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, where she spoke about roles for women being “so underwritten, especially compared to” the roles developed for men.