Jessica Chastain On Playing Catherine Weldon

Jessica Chastain on Bringing Catherine Weldon's Story to Life in 'Woman Walks Ahead'

Susanna White’s “Woman Walks Ahead” premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, and star Jessica Chastain stopped by the Variety Studio Presented by AT&T to discuss the film with White and co-stars Sam Rockwell and Michael Greyeyes.

Chastain explained that she was excited by the opportunity to illuminate the story of Catherine Weldon, a portrait painter from New York who travels to Dakota to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull and becomes involved in the Lakotas’ fight for land rights.

“I wasn’t familiar with Catherine Weldon and when I read the script I immediately started to research her because I didn’t understand if it was a fictional character, what Hollywood might have made up, or if this was reality,” she said. “The more I read about her, the more enthralled I was to play her and the more confused I was with why she isn’t mentioned in the history books. So it was really an exciting opportunity for me to learn about her, but also to bring her story to the public.”

Rockwell, who plays Colonel Silas Grove, detailed how he enjoyed the challenge of learning the Lakota language and consulted co-star Greyeyes for help.

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