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Jessica Chastain on “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him & Her”

Each September, the Toronto International Film Festival marks the beginning of a new season of awards and adventurous filmmaking. Vanity Fair Senior West Coast editor Krista Smith sat down to talk with the most exciting players at TIFF 2013.

Released on 09/12/2013


Hi, I'm Krista Smith.

Welcome to the Toronto International Film Festival.

We are saving the best for last.

I am with Jessica Chastain, and we are going to talk about

her labor of love, this movie.

It is

so powerful and

so controversial

in all the best ways, because it deals with relationships

and men and women and three versions of the truth.


The truth, your truth, my, his truth, and the truth

whatever that is, the audience's.

Called The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,

and it is such a unique experience

because it's one film, obviously,

divided into

two parts and, depending on

which one you get, the lottery that I drew

seeing it this morning was I saw

his version first and then her version.

So, to say that I could talk to you for

more time than you have is an understatement.

So I'll just try to keep it, you know, try to

keep my thoughts moving forward, but

the experience was extraordinary watching this movie.

I'm so glad.

We've all been in relationships.

And the unique thing about this film

is, yes it's about a love relationship,

it's about a young couple and

you see it, obviously they start very differently

the her version and the him version,

but the him version we're really introduced to you guys

in the throes of being in love and it's magical

and you're in the city and everything is right.

But what also was really interesting to me

in this, other than the love affair,

was all the interrelationships with family,

and with colleagues, and that is something

that's also extremely interesting

because both of you guys come from

families that have a lot of issues

that are bubbling under the surface.

And I think everyone does.


So it's a whole, across the board, it was just great.

Well, I'm so glad.

And I didn't go to the bathroom once

and I didn't feel the two,

I wanted to see it another, I just wanted to see it

again in another version.

It's interesting talking to people

because, you know, sometimes people see him before her,

sometimes people see her before him.

It's a project that's made where

each film should stand alone.

So if you only see one, you only see one.

And it should be its own solid piece.

But then if you decide you want another perspective

of the story, then you go to see the other version.

And, you know, making the films,

it's like playing two different characters.

Because in her film, I was playing Eleanor Rigby.

You know, I fleshed her out,

I knew her soul, everything about her.

And then in his version I was playing

Connor's perception of Eleanor Rigby.

So we would have certain scenes that would be

the same scene in both movies,

little dialogue changes here and there.

But that's the crux of men and women


which is so great, which is why the dialogue,

everyone's talking about it is because

his version of what you said is one thing in his story

and your version of what he said in the same scene

and that's the kind of great, it's

such ballsy filmmaking.

And it's so great that Ned, who wrote and directed

this film,


kept all that in there.

So, actually, you could get the audience gets a perspective

from the male and then the female

and how it's so subjective even though

everyone's memory is the same.

Yeah, and what is the truth?

I mean, in the films we have Connor's truth

and we have Eleanor's truth

but, you know, who knows what our emotional state was

when we were in that moment.


So we can never really know the truth of what happened.

We just know what we saw, what we felt.

That's awesome.

Alright, thanks. Thanks honey!

Starring: Krista Smith, Jessica Chastain

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