Jessica Chastain started 2023 by telling Andy Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live” that she was open to reading a script for the film adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling novel “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.” The Oscar-winning actor has long been fans’ top choice to play the title character, a reclusive old Hollywood star who reflects on her life during a final interview with an unknown journalist.
“I do know there is an online thing about it,” Chastain said when asked about the fan casting. “Sure, send me a script.”
Cut to the end to the year, and Chastain is officially closing the book on starring in a “Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” movie. She recently told E! News (via IndieWire) that there is “zero possibility” she’ll play Evelyn Hugo in a movie.
“But I love how excited the fans are,” Chastain added. “When I was working on Broadway, every single day, they’d be outside, when I was signing, with the books. I just love how wonderful that fan base is. I look forward to watching it and I’m sorry to disappoint everyone out there!”
Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel was published in 2017, with Netflix announcing back in 2022 that it was developing a feature film adaptation with Liz Tigelaar attached to write the script and Leslye Headland on board to direct. Chastain went viral in the spring when a video of her refusing to sign a fan’s copy of the “Evelyn Hugo” book went viral on social media. She later took to X (then known as Twitter) to explain why she declined.
“I’ve been asked multiple times by fans to sign books that I’m not attached to contractually,” Chastain wrote in April. “Because it feels wrong, and like I’m taking credit for someone else’s work, I’ll say I can’t sign because I’m not doing it. That doesn’t mean I’ve read a bad script.”
Chastain is currently making the press rounds in support of her indie drama “Memory,” co-starring Peter Sarsgaard in a performance that won him the best actor prize at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year. The film expands into theaters nationwide on Jan. 5.