On the eve of a Broadway opening, Jessica Chastain talks of her school days. (NYT)
After high school she landed the role of Juliet in a production of “Romeo and Juliet,” and heard about Juilliard from Romeo, who was a student there. “I thought, ‘If that’s where he goes, that’s where I want to go,’ “ she said. No one in her family had ever graduated from college, but she nevertheless applied, and for her audition did what she now describes as a near-pornographic version of Juliet’s “Gallop apace” soliloquy.
“I’ve always made really strange choices, maybe because no one told me otherwise,” she said. “I thought the language was very sexual, so I was like ‘Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-brow’d night, give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die, take him.’ And it ended with me rolling around on the ground. I think it was probably pretty shocking.” She recalled that Michael Kahn — one of Juilliard’s renowned teachers — turned to her and said, “Jessica, did you have fun?”