What does privilege mean? These are the questions asked among Jessica Chastain and “The Forgiven” director John Michael McDonagh, as the two join the Variety Studio at TIFF Studio, presented by Canada Goose, to talk about creating an empathetic story that addresses privilege and taking inspiration from Michelangelo Antonioni.

Chastain, who plays Jo Henninger, spoke about the dynamic between her character and husband David, played by Ralph Fiennes, and the empathy lost for one another.

Chastain spoke more on empathy, adding, “When I say sleepwalking through their lives and through their marriage, those are people who stop asking questions and stop being curious about their effect on others,” said Chastain. “When you look at the other, that’s how you grow empathy. So hopefully talking about this film right now means we’re at a point where our goal is we’re focused on creating an empathetic society.”

“The Forgiven” is based on the 2012 novel of the same name from Lawrence Osborne, with McDonagh saying he wanted to add to the storyline of empathy. “Lawrence Osborne deals with a lot of that in his work, about ex-patriots that go to other countries and drift into these sort of lifestyles — something happens, fate intervenes and their lives are upended. It should have been prevalent for the last 20 or 30 years but it’s all coming to a head now.”

Chastain spoke about privilege, adding, “People are now just starting to open up to asking what privilege means, asking themselves what is the life that I’ve been living up until this point, are other people being denied the rights that I have? Hopefully many of us are looking into ourselves and looking at whether we are serving the communities around us and I think it’s an important film to see because it delves into that.”

Watch the full discussion above.