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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Lisa McLoughlin

Jessica Chastain admits Oscar Isaac friendship has ‘never quite been the same’ after Scenes From a Marriage

Jessica Chastain has said that her friendship with Oscar Isaac has “never quite been the same” after starring in their HBO series, Scenes From a Marriage.

In 2021, the pair played couple Mira Phillips and Jonathan Levy in the rework of Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman’s influential 1973 television series about the breakdown of a long-term relationship.

In a new interview, the 46-year-old was asked about her experiences of playing “intensely emotional” characters on stage and screen.

She explained that her roles in biopic The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House on Broadway gave her “a lot of joy”.

The actors played couple Mira Phillips and Jonathan Levy in the series (HBO / Sky Atlantic)

However, Scenes From a Marriage had been “very tough”. While she insisted that her and Isaac’s friendship will be “OK”, she admitted that she needed space from him after filming.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, she shared: “I love Oscar, but the reality is, our friendship has never quite been the same. We’re going to be OK, but after that, I was like, I need a little bit of a breather.

“There was so much ‘I love you, I hate you’ in that series. But there’s so much joy in what I get to do. There’s a lot of catharsis. I feel like I have the best job in the world because I get to have these experiences.

“They’re so out of this world and feel like they’re mine. But then I live a very quiet life. I don’t have to have these tortured things in my life. I play them and I experience them, and then I come home and I live quietly and peacefully.”

While promoting the romance drama in 2021, the pair made headlines when their red-carpet antics at the Venice Film Festival went viral.

Walking the carpet, Isaac appeared to stroke Chastain’s arm before leaning into her shoulder as they posed for photos while a beaming Chastain gave him a hug and cradled his face with both hands.

The pals’ appearance at the Venice Film Festival in 2021 went viral (Getty Images)

It wasn’t only the actors who laughed at their antics but also their real-life partners, who were spotted in the background at the cinematic event.

Commenting on the much-talked about moment last year, Isaac said: “This is not DNA, this is just at a cellular level, and that’s how Jessica and I kind of talk to each other.”

It’s not the first time the Chastain and Isaac have played on-screen lovers, having previously portrayed a married couple in 2014 thriller A Most Violent Year.

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