Jessica Chastain Did Crimson Peak For One Reason (And One Person)

Jessica Chastain embodied Edith Cushing's (Mia Wasikowska) deranged adversary, Lucille Sharpe, for Guillermo del Toro's film, "Crimson Peak." Edith soon becomes aware that her sister-in-law's poised and polished demeanor is a facade when Lucille allows her mask to slip, as she desperately clings to her family's mansion and her brother, Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). 

During a 2015 interview with ScreenRant, Chastain shared why she wanted to become a "Crimson Peak" cast member. She noted she portrayed Annie in the del Toro-produced movie "Mama" before being cast as Lucille. The actress explained that she enjoyed del Toro's personality and the unexpected way he presents movie monsters. "I really like him as a filmmaker and I really like him as a person. I think his imagination is incredible and I also love the compassion that he has for his monsters in his fairy tales," said Chastain.

She also shared that she appreciated how Edith and Lucille were written. In addition, Chastain stated she trusted the "Shape of Water" director to give her character enough humanity and complexity to explain her evil ways. "[A]nother good thing, if I'm going to play Lucille, Guillermo's the one to do that with because he's going to make sure that it's not just this flat archetype of a character. He's going to make a really layered and – you can kind of understand where she's coming from to make her what she is," stated Chastain.

Jessica Chastain explained why she wanted to be cast as Lucille Sharpe

Jessica Chastain discussed her eagerness to be a "Crimson Peak" cast member during a 2015 Talks at Google panel alongside Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska. She shared she appreciated that her character often interacted with Edith throughout the film. "I was really excited when I got the script, because I'm not used to being in movies where actresses get to talk to each other, and I'm always looking for that," said Chastain with a laugh.

She also stated she felt sympathetic toward her character. "There was something about Lucille that I found so heartbreaking and devastating," said the actress.

In a 2015 interview with ScreenCrush, Chastain revealed that Guillermo del Toro initially envisioned her as Edith. She explained she declined the role because she wanted to have the opportunity to bring Lucille to life on the big screen. She stated she previously had not had the chance to portray an individual like Edith's stern sister-in-law. "I want to play characters who are very different from me and to me, that's a big challenge. I have never played anything — nothing like Lucille," Chastain said.