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

  • Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment,

    Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment, Imprisonment for Trump, Says Maybe Al Pacino Should Lead Instead

    Robert De Niro honored Al Pacino, his longtime friend and four-time collaborator (with Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film “The Irishman” marking their latest pairing), at the American Icon Awards, and then called for a different type of tribute for President Donald Trump — “impeachment and imprisonment.” “You didn’t think you were going to completely get away without [...]

  • Millie Bobby Brown on Her Feature

    Millie Bobby Brown Calls Her Film Debut in 'Godzilla' 'Kind of Unreal'

    Millie Bobby Brown is no stranger to stardom thanks to “Stranger Things,” but she still can’t believe she’s making her feature film debut in the monster reboot “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” “It’s kind of unreal,” Brown told Variety at the premiere. “I’m like, ‘What is happening right now?’ It’s so bizarre and unreal, and [...]

  • CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 19: Robert

    Robert Pattinson Helps HFPA Donate $500,000 to Refugee Organization at Cannes Event

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association proved in Cannes Sunday night that the Golden Globes aren’t the only festive bash it can pull off each year. At the glamorous Nikki Beach party held in association with Participant Media, the HFPA donated $500,000 to international aid organization Help Refugees. Co-hosts Robert Pattinson and Helen Mirren along with Quentin [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Alexis Martin Woodall, Ryan

    Peabody Winners Talk Empowered Women and Social Justice Challenges on Red Carpet

    The theme on the red carpet at the 78th annual Peabody Awards? Empowering women. On Saturday, Peabody winners gathered at Cipriani Wall Street, and one of the hot topics on everyone’s mind was the wave of female empowerment spreading across the industry. From Peabody’s Career Achievement Award recipient Rita Moreno to shows like ‘Killing Eve’ [...]


    Cannes: Robert Pattinson, Shailene Woodley Attend Starry Vanity Fair Party

    It’s true what they say about Batman being a loner. On Saturday night, Robert Pattinson made his first public appearance since being cast as the new Dark Knight at this year’s Vanity Fair Party at the Cannes Film Festival. But while all the other A-list guests mingled and worked the crowd at the restaurant of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content