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'Memory' Director Was Told Jessica Chastain Would 'Be a Nightmare' After Oscar Win: 'She's the Opposite'

"If I want to be pampered, I’ll go to a spa," Jessica Chastain said of misconceptions about working with her after she won an Academy Award in 2022

<p>Sonia Recchia/Getty</p> Michel Franco and Jessica Chastain attend the "Memory" North American premiere party hosted by Don Julio Tequila at Margo at Clio during the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario

Sonia Recchia/Getty

Michel Franco and Jessica Chastain attend the "Memory" North American premiere party hosted by Don Julio Tequila at Margo at Clio during the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario

Jessica Chastain's Oscar win did not go to her head, says Memory director Michel Franco.

The pair recently screened their new drama at the Toronto International Film Festival, where Franco told IndieWire that some in Hollywood had suggested Chastain, 46, would be difficult to work with after her Best Actress Oscar win for The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

Franco, 44, recalled to the outlet how he was told Chastain may "show up and be a nightmare and be a diva" after she won her first Oscar.

“I told them, you don’t know half of it. She’s the opposite. She’s going to show up satisfied, happy, and be productive," the director said. "People are so afraid of actors. I don’t know why. The worst way to approach an actor or any person is with fear, and if you are pointing in the wrong direction then, yes, all your nightmares will come true."

Chastain added: “Because I have been doing bigger things sometimes and have gotten a lot of attention as of late, [there’s been the idea] that I would not be interested in being on a set without a trailer."

“We had the Oscars, and I won for Tammy Faye, and then right after that, I showed up on set to do Memory. Michel said that a lot of people told him, ‘Oh Jessica is going to leave your film because she just won an Oscar,' " Chastain recalled.

Related: Jessica Chastain Pitches Idea for 'The Help' Sequel with Octavia Spencer: 'How Amazing Would That Film Be?'

<p>Teorema/High Frequency Entertainment/Screen Capital/MUBI/Case Study Films</p> Peter Sarsgaard (left) and Jessica Chastain (right) in 'Memory'

Teorema/High Frequency Entertainment/Screen Capital/MUBI/Case Study Films

Peter Sarsgaard (left) and Jessica Chastain (right) in 'Memory'

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Chastain added that she does not work on movies "to be pampered."

"If I want to be pampered, I’ll go to a spa. I’m doing a film to work and to be creative, and I don’t need to sit by myself in a trailer," she told IndieWire.

Chastain has been able to appear at recent film festivals and promote Memory amid the ongoing Hollywood actors' strike because the film is an independent production that obtained an interim agreement from the Screen Actors Guild.

Related: Jessica Chastain Says Her 'Tree of Life' Sons Sent Her Mother's Day Cards After: 'I Loved Those Boys'

<p>Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty</p> Jessica Chastain, Michel Franco and Peter Sarsgaard attend the "Memory" premiere during the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival at Royal Alexandra Theatre on September 12, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

Jessica Chastain, Michel Franco and Peter Sarsgaard attend the "Memory" premiere during the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival at Royal Alexandra Theatre on September 12, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario

Chastain stars with Peter Sarsgaard in Memory. The film follows a social worker named Sylvia whose life "is blown open when Saul (Sarsgaard) follows her home from their high school reunion," according to an official Venice Film Festival synopsis for the film.

Prior to promoting the movie in Toronto, Chastain, Sarsgaard and Franco appeared together in Venice, Italy, where the actress continued to show support for SAG-AFTRA's ongoing strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

"We [actors] are often told and reminded how grateful we should be," Chastain told reporters in Venice. "And that is the environment that I think has allowed workplace abuse to go unchecked for many decades and is also the environment that has saddled members of our union with unfair contracts."

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