You’ve recently seen them in Dark Phoenix as Professor X and Vuk, and now you see them again in It: Chapter 2. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain have quite the habit of starring in the same movies. It: Chapter 2 is the duo’s third collaboration. Let’s get to know this pair of frequent collaborators, their works and friendship.
McAvoy started off on the small screen in the mid 90s before making the transition to the big screen in 2003. After a rather successful supporting role as Mr, Tummus, the faun in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe in 2005, his film career took off. He turned in a critically acclaimed performance in The Last King of Scotland in 2006, and kept his profile high in the popular 2007 Atonement opposite Keira Knightley, which earned him a Golden Globe and BAFTA nomination. He then headlined the 2008 Wanted as an unwilling assassin starring Angelina Jolie. In 2011, McAvoy was cast as the young Professor X in the X-men franchise, and things just got better and better for the Scotsman. In 2016, he showed his acting prowess by acting out 24 different characters in M. Night Shyamalan's Split, and followed the performance in the sequel of sorts in this year’s Glass. Just this year alone, McAvoy has three movies out. Apart from the afore-mentioned Glass, there’s Dark Phoenix and It: Chapter 2.
As for Jessica Chastain, she has Zero Dark Thirty to thank for catapulting her to Hollywood heights. Chastain started off with stage work, starring in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet production. A Julliard graduate, she finds herself doing bit parts in Television and movie as she transited from stage to screen. She left an impression in 2011’s The Help, as an aspiring socialite, which won her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She also appeared in It director Andy Muschietti's feature debut Mama, but it was Kathryn Bigelow’s 2012 gritty war thriller on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden that makes us notice the redhead. Since then, Chastain is known for taking on roles which feature strong-willed women, in movies like The Huntsman: Winter’s War in 2016 and Molly’s Game in 2017.
The first time you notice when you watch It: Chapter 2 is how the cast enjoy great chemistry, especially McAvoy and Chastain. The pair collaborated back in 2013’s The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, which is a collective title of three films combined. The three films, titled- Him, Her and Them, tell the story of a young married couple living in New York. They all have the same narrative, except from different perspectives. The best way to watch the three movies is to catch Them first. With it, you get a pretty good picture of a couple’s love story, and how they come together and fall apart as a couple. It gives you a good look at who these two people are. Then catch Him, which shows the husband’s perspective. McAvoy plays the husband, Conor, and the story touches on his feelings about his marriage, his business and how he loves his wife but is frustrated by being unable to communicate with her. Her is the story from the wife’s perspective. Chastain plays Eleanor, who suffers from depression due to a tragedy in the couple’s life, and how she deals with it. It shows her lonesomeness, although her husband is right by her side. Watching Him and Her after watching Them gives you an insight into the two characters, and explain why they acted like they did in Them. After watching the two movies based on each perspective, come back and watch Them again. You’ll enjoy it much more.
Dark Phoenix (2019)
Although McAvoy and Chastain co-star in this movie, they don’t play a couple, but cross paths as opposing sides instead. We know McAvoy plays Professor X, who is determined to protect his protégée Jean Grey from turning to the dark side. Chastain plays a human, who becomes a temporary host to an alien named Vuk, with an agenda for wanting to capture Jean. The pair, plus Vuk’s minions and the X-men, had a fiery showdown towards the end of the film.
It: Chapter 2 (2019)
The Derry kids are all grown up! Chastain plays the grown-up Beverly while McAvoy plays the adult Bill. The gang is reunited back at Derry, to put an end to their unfinished business 27 years ago. Bev and Bill were attracted to each other as kids, and as adults, Bev is struggling in an abusive marriage while Bill is married to an actress, but not exactly getting a whole lotta love. Watching McAvoy and Chastain coming back for the third time is welcoming, as the pair obviously enjoy each other’s company, as can be seen from their off-screen friendship in this interview.
Which McAvoy- Chastain movie is your favourite?