In J.C. Chandor’s indie crime drama A Most Violent Year, Jessica Chastain plays a mob princess opposite Oscar Isaac’s heating-oil entrepreneur. While the film is not expected to roll out wide until early January, it will get a release in a small number of theaters on December 31st in order to qualify for Oscar awards, so right now is the time when the cast and filmmakers for A Most Violent Year would typically be glad-handing at events in order to increase visibility for the film during awards season.
There’s one small problem, however: Jessica Chastain has been barred from promoting A Most Violent Kind through early December because of a clause in her Interstellar contract that Christopher Nolan and Paramount are enforcing, according to the NYTimes.
Under a deal struck long ago with the makers of “Interstellar,” Ms. Chastain, who has often juggled films in the past — in 2011 she had six, including “The Help” and “The Tree of Life” — is supposed to focus on only the Nolan film for another month. … Mr. Nolan and his backers have insisted that Ms. Chastain’s contract forbids even those semiprivate encounters and have not given in to pleas from Mr. Chandor, A24 and others for a waiver.
This is hardly scandal-worthy, but it is a fascinating glimpse into arrangements that actors enter into that create obligations beyond simply appearing in the film. A Most Violent Year is a small movie, and one that will benefit more from publicity than marketing. Without its biggest star out there promoting it during a busy awards season, the film may suffer.
That said, though Nolan et. al will not give Chastain a waiver, Nolan did arrange to have her Letterman show appearance cancelled so that she could attend the premiere for A Most Violent Year, so he’s obviously not completely heartless.
Then again, Interstellar has essentially reached its saturation point, marketing-wise. There’s very little anyone can do to convince us to see it or not see it; we’ve completely made up our minds about it. McConaughey, I’m sure, can do what’s left of the heavy publicity lifting, so there’s little reason not to let Chastain appear at events for a little film that’s obviously no threat to the biggest sci-fi flick of the year.