You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jessica Chastain Praises Bravery of Sexual Assault Victims at ‘Molly’s Game’ Premiere, AFI Fest Tribute to Aaron Sorkin

Just days after it was announced Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World” was being pulled as the closer for AFI Fest following sexual misconduct allegations against actor Kevin Spacey, AFI chose Aaron Sorkin’s “Molly’s Game,” starring Jessica Chastain, as its replacement. The swap seemed fitting, as much of the conversation during Thursday’s Los Angeles premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre revolved around female empowerment, a core theme in the film.

“I’m very hopeful because I feel like victims are now feeling like they can come forward without feeling further victimized, and I think that’s the first step,” Chastain told Variety.

Chastain, an outspoken champion of equal rights, expressed a sense of promise in the wake of Hollywood’s succession of sexual assault scandals, praising the victims who have continuously come forward.

 “I’m very happy to work in an industry that holds all abusers accountable, and it’s a great passion of mine to amplify the voices of those who come forward, and to do whatever I can to end the victimization, and sexual harassment, and sexual violence against women and men in our industry.”

“Molly’s Game” presents the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who went on to run the most exclusive high-stakes poker game in the world before being arrested by the FBI. Throughout the film, Chastain’s Bloom gradually challenges and overcomes the powerful men who constantly try to break her down.

“[Molly] changes everything about herself the way she looks she molds herself to this idea that she thinks she has to be in order to be accepted by these men, and it isn’t until the end of the movie where she says she isn’t going to do that anymore,” Chastain said. “I really wanted to show that.”

The evening also served as a tribute, led by Variety’s Peter Debruge, to honor revered screenwriter Sorkin. “Molly’s Game” served as Sorkin’s directorial debut.

Sorkin commended Chastain as both an actress and a friend, saying the “single smartest thing” he did on the film was casting her. “I don’t know what I did in a past life to be so lucky in this one to have worked with Jessica Chastain in this movie,” he shared before the screening. He went on to credit the cast and crew for the film’s success, calling the film “a triumph of collaboration.”

“Molly’s Game” hits theaters on Christmas Day.

More Scene

  • Nicole KidmanWarner Bros. Pictures World Premiere

    How James Wan Convinced Nicole Kidman to Star in 'Aquaman'

    While some actors dream of playing a superhero, that wasn’t the case for the cast of “Aquaman.” “I knew nothing about this,” Amber Heard, who plays Mera in the James Wan-directed action film, told Variety at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “I knew nothing about comic books in general. I didn’t know anything about this [...]

  • Hugh Jackman'To Kill a Mockingbird' Broadway

    'To Kill a Mockingbird's' Starry Opening: Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and More

    The Shubert Theatre in New York City last was filled on Thursday night with Oscar winners, media titans, and, of course, Broadway legends who came out for the opening of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The starry guest list included Oprah Winfrey, Barry Diller, “Les Misérables” co-stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Gayle King, [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • John CenaSports Illustrated Sportsperson of the

    John Cena on WWE's Acceptance by Hollywood and the Professional Sports World

    John Cena says the WWE is finally getting the attention it deserves by Hollywood and the professional sports world. “I’m just glad that no longer are we looked down upon, not only by the sport industry, but by the performing arts industry,” Cena told Variety on Tuesday night in Beverly Hills at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of [...]

  • Steve Carell Welcome to Marwen

    Steve Carell on New Film 'Welcome to Marwen' and Reprising His 'Anchorman' Character

    In 2000, Mark Hogancamp was nearly beaten to death by five men outside of a bar. Left with brain damage and little money to afford therapy, Hogancamp began creating miniature doll versions of himself, his friends, and his attackers as a way to cope. This true story inspired the 2010 documentary “Marwencol” and the upcoming [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content