How Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon Changed a ‘George & Tammy‘ Scene That Initially ‘Disturbed’ Her

How Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon Changed a ‘George & Tammy‘ Scene That Initially ‘Disturbed’ Her

The co-stars transformed their debut episode interaction, including shifting a line Shannon said sounded “a bit neanderthal.” “

George and Tammy

Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain in George and Tammy.

Dana Hawley

Jessica Chastain says a scene was altered in George & Tammy with the help of co-star Michael Shannon to give country icon Tammy Wynette more agency in the Showtime limited series.

In the first episode of the series, based on Wynette’s personal and professional relationship with fellow musician George Jones, the duo is confronted with their future while Wynette is still married to her soon-to-be ex-husband Don Chapel.

In an interview with Marie Claire, the actress and producer on the Golden Globe-nominated show shared that, in an early outline of the scene, Jones gets Wynette alone by distracting Don with an escort. Chastain found the sequence surrounding this moment to be upsetting.

Chastain said, “I read it and was deeply disturbed.” “[Tammy] was just sitting there. People were making stuff so she could get caught .”

Chastain was extremely proud to include Wynette, country music’s icon and voice behind “Stand By Your Man”, in her narrative. She said Wynette’s famous single was not about her being a doormat. “And the truth is Tammy Wynette was married five .”

The subplot was ultimately scrapped and Shannon would make a tweak to the script during filming. He changed a line that implied George didn’t acknowledge Wynette’s agency in their relationship into one that emphasized it.

Chastain recalled that Michael changed the line from ‘Yes, she’s going to f— her’ to ‘I sure would love to’. “The second he said, “I sure would like,” it was like, “Oh, yes, this is happening.” Because he views her as someone who can make the decision. That’s because he’s aware that he doesn’t own me

Shannon, who worked with Chastain on 2011’s Take Shelter and celebrated their shared collaborator Guillermo del Toro during his recent MoMA career tribute, said the line switch was a byproduct of them being “so in tune with one another.”

He said, “The idea of sitting in front a man and looking at a woman and declaring that you’re going f– her” was a little neanderthal. “It’s not like I would enjoy that if I were the woman in question.”

This scene is just one example of how Chastain saw Wynette’s humanity and choices in the limited series about Wynette’s life — Wynette made her own decisions, the actress said — but also ensuring that she was respected in the storytelling.

She said, “To be a producer and to have production companies, means that you get to police the writing.” “You can say, “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!” We must respect women as human beings. They make their own decisions .'”

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

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