admin • March 3,2018 • 0 Comments

VULTURE – The first time Molly Bloom walked into Barneys, the sales associate thought she was a sex worker. Dressed in a Denver Broncos sweatshirt and cut-offs, the ex-athlete from Colorado was trying to fit in at a new night gig that had her rubbing shoulders with Tobey Maguire and Ben Affleck: running the numbers for an exclusive poker game at the Viper Room. It wasn’t exactly the environment for what she considered her “best look” at the time — a floral dress from J.C. Penney that her new boss referred to as “ugly.” So, to Barneys she went, in search of something shorter, tighter, and sexier. Once she found a dress she liked, she paid in cash (because that’s how the poker players tipped her). Cue the eyebrow raises.

Molly’s Game, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, tells the story of Molly’s (Jessica Chastain) rise, fall, and eventual redemption in the high-stakes world of celebrity poker. But the sleek minidresses and evening gowns Molly wears throughout are as important to the story as the costumes from Gossip Girl or The Devil Wears Prada: Running the world’s premiere “decadent man cave” requires a strict uniform of cleavage-baring dresses and sharp blazers, dressed up for professionalism, but also designed to appeal to the male gaze. The movie’s parade of looks comes courtesy of costume designer Susan Lyall, who either found, designed, or tailored the costumes for Sorkin’s label-conscious heroine. “I spoke to Molly a few times, and obviously appearance is very important,” Lyall tells Vulture. “We talked a little bit about how she judged what was an appropriate thing to wear. She was kind of concerned about always looking a little bit businesslike — even if she had a plunging neckline, she’d throw on a blazer, just some element to suggest no-nonsense.

The final costume count ended up being a little over 90, with about 70 dresses. “Aaron made it very clear that she should always be incredibly sexy,” says Lyall. “The real Molly Bloom claims to have never worn the same outfit in front of the same players. Thus every game Jessica had to have a different costume.

Below, we lay out exactly how Lyall turned Jessica Chastain into Molly Bloom.

Amplify the cleavage
Chastain spends scene after scene in dark dresses with deep Vs or push-up bras — or both. But Lyall made sure it was never too much. “There were a lot of things we had to check off to make each costume appropriate: Was it sexy enough, which is a very subjective thing? In our case, that usually meant was there enough cleavage showing, but without looking trashy,” Lyall says. “She always had cleavage at a game. When she met with her attorney or someone else or was at her real-estate office, there wasn’t so much. But it was like going to war, like putting on her armor.

Sequins improve everything
One of the movie’s greatest dresses is a strapless pink DSquared minidress that Molly wears when she pulls over on Sunset Boulevard to take a call from a disgruntled player. “That dress was saved for that moment,” says Lyall. “We went back and forth, but Jessica thought it would be really strong to use in the shot on Sunset Boulevard standing outside the car.” In real life, Molly wasn’t so into sequins, Lyall says, but it was an effective way to keep the parade of Jessica’s black dresses interesting. The early games that Molly runs for her boss are set in the Viper Room’s dimly lit basement, and a little glitter helped her stand out. “[Sequins are] more photogenic,” Lyall adds. “It brings the attention to her a little bit, it just gave her more life.

Reading the room
In order to keep her poker table stacked with movie stars, finance bros, and pros, Molly has to recruit players everywhere, from glitzy benefit dinners to the aggressively beige Commerce Casino, lit by harsh fluorescent lights. One of the real Molly Bloom’s greatest gifts was adapting her style to any environment — even a casino in the suburbs. It was something Lyall wanted to re-create for the film. “She was good at her camouflage. She was bringing just enough attention to herself. She goes in once wearing a coral-colored top and jeans. Just a pretty woman going in there, she wasn’t overdressed, she wasn’t underdressed, just strikingly dressed,” Lyall explains. “It’s definitely a conscious decision on her part to both fit in, and yet catch the eye of the guy overseeing the whole place.

Don’t fear frills
Maybe the most important dress in the movie is the one Molly wears to pitch her big game. All of her men arrive to a suite at the Peninsula, and Molly calls them all to attention: She’s starting a new game with the same top-level service; play tonight and you’re guaranteed a chair for a year, or leave now and there’s no hard feelings. Initially, Lyall wasn’t into the dress — nude with black ruffles on the front — but Chastain insisted on it. “I thought it was a sort of ridiculously feminine dress, but it just nailed it! I thought at first that it was too much, but Jessica loved it,” Lyall says. “She thought it was the perfect attention-getting dress to keep all men’s eyes on her while she made that proposal. How could you resist that? It’s incredibly calculated.

Wear white
Once Molly moves cross-country to New York, everything becomes more luxurious and pricey. No more of those bright Los Angeles colors; instead, in a scene where she’s leaving the Plaza after the game, Molly dons a white fur coat. “That fake fur was just a fun fur,” Lyall says. “You could hardly see what she had on underneath [in the scene], so the coat had to be something that could read well on camera, read wealthy, and also read nouveau riche. White got that.” According to Lyall, white communicates an exclusive, impossibly fancy lifestyle: “If you have a white suit, that means you probably don’t really wear it that much, and when you do, a car is picking you up and taking you somewhere and you’re never going to get it dirty. We had a beautiful white La Perla suit in the lawyer’s office because it looked kind of professional, but clearly she’s not a human rights attorney… The business of a white suit is not the business of a navy suit, that’s for sure.

Chanel pearls
A lot of big-name accessories get a shout-out in Molly Bloom’s book, which inspired the film. But Bloom’s favorite piece was a Chanel pearl necklace — not the single-strand subtle type, but layers of pearls, the kind that inspired knockoffs from J.Crew and Claire’s. This necklace, which appears twice in the film, was the hardest item for Lyall to pin down. “In the book, she talks about buying Chanel pearls,” says Lyall. “They’re the interlocking Cs, they’re not subtle.” Lyall eventually found them on the internet.

The dark side
Key to turning Chastain into Bloom was marking her transitions: She’s nearly a ski pro when she leaves Colorado for Los Angeles, and by the time she makes it to New York, she’s taking uppers and downers and staying up all night. The color palette gets darker, and the dresses get a little more severe. Instead of the sequins and bright-pinks and reds from her L.A. days, Molly sticks to dark grays and blacks, with added details that make the whole look feel a little bit gloomier (just like Molly herself).

She went from dressed to impress to dressed to depressed,” Lyall says. “She did get harder — lots of black dresses with heavy zippers, dresses with more hardware … Her makeup got heavier, her clothes got darker, [and the neckline became] oppressively plunging sometimes.” But in the movie’s present-day timeline — where Molly is meeting with her lawyer (Idris Elba) and preparing her case — she tones it down in muted but luxe Montclair sweaters. “That’s a little Azazie Aliya twinset. That look is taken from research,” Lyall says. “She looked kind of demure for her sentencing. That was her version of looking respectful of the law. But she still had those pearls on!

admin • January 1,2018 • 0 Comments

On January 30, Jessica attended the “Molly’s Game” Q&A with her grandmother Marilyn in Australia. She was wearing a blue gown by Louis Vuitton. Check the photos in our galley:

Gallery Links:
Appearances & Public Events > 2018 >
Jan 30 | “Molly’s Game” Australia Q&A

admin • January 1,2018 • 0 Comments

On January 29, Jessica attended the “Molly’s Game” Photocall in front of the Sydney Opera House, Australia. She’s currently on the country to promote the film. Check the photos of the event and some candids in our galley:

Gallery Links:
Appearances & Public Events > 2018 > Jan 29 │“Molly’s Game” Australia Photocall

Candids > 2018 > Jan 27 │Spotted at Sydney markets with grandmother Marilyn while visiting Australia

admin • January 1,2018 • 0 Comments

Jessica is amongst a very star-studded line-up on the cover of this years Vanity Fair Hollywood issue, which has been released online on January 25. Chastain is joined by Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hanks, Zendaya, Claire Foy, Michael Shannon, Harrison Ford, Gal Gadot, Robert DeNiro, Michael B. Jordan and the Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. The issue consists of the fold-out cover photoshoot, and a small blurb on each star. Find the photos in our Gallery and Jessica text snippet below:

In the quarter-century since Vanity Fair launched the Hollywood Issue, show business has changed in fundamental ways, as have magazines. But a star-studded, foldout cover remains a surefire thrill. This year’s portfolio goes inside the cover’s creation, which took place in L.A. and New York as Annie Leibovitz photographed 12 of film and TV’s most iconic actors—with a non-actor corralled for the shoot for his last V.F. hurrah.

The films and TV shows represented by the actors in this year’s Hollywood Portfolio—which for the first time offers a behind-the-scenes look at the shoot—took the #MeToo movement in stride, offering strong women in leading roles, as well as strong men supporting them. Here we have Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman summoning the women’s battle cry of Big Little Lies alongside Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee, the indispensable sidekick to The Post heroine Katharine Graham. There’s also Claire Foy and Gal Gadot, embodiments of their formidable characters, the Queen and Wonder Woman, and one possible future female president in the mix. Movies have always thrived on relevance, and this year’s cover stars don’t hesitate to make a statement about the times we’re living in and the changes that need to happen.

JESSICA CHASTAIN, actor, producer.

30 films, including Molly’s Game (2017).

With her cherry hair and Creamsicle complexion, Jessica Chastain possesses a classical beauty suitable for Victorian high collars (Crimson Peak), to-the-manor-born hauteur (Miss Julie), heroic archery (The Huntsman: Winter’s War), and parts requiring her to keep her dimpled chin cocked. Chastain has also dived into the netherworlds of counter-intelligence (Zero Dark Thirty) and high-roller underground gambling (Molly’s Game, as real-life “poker princess” Molly Bloom) without losing translucence. On the horizon is perhaps Chastain’s greatest challenge: playing the sainted country-music singer Tammy Wynette in George and Tammy. (+)

Gallery Links:
Photoshoots & Portraits > 2018 > #007 Vanity Fair’s 2018 Hollywood issue

admin • January 1,2018 • 0 Comments

Jessica Chastain in on the cover of ‘The Wall Street Journal’ Magazine. Chastain, who was photographed by Annemarieke Van Drimmelen, gave a interview to the February issue for where she talks about gender equality and promote Molly’s Game. The magazine also brings quotes from Molly Bloom herself, Aaron Sorkin, Idris Elba and Melissa Silverstein, founder of Women and Hollywood, an initiative that advocates for gender equity in the entertainment industry and named Jessica as a co-chair for its 10th anniversary celebration last fall.

You can find interview in our press archive and the photoshoot in our gallery.

As Molly, Jessica Chastain delivers an unforgettable performance that earned her a Golden Globe nomination for best performance by an actress in a motion picture. The movie was written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, who was nominated for best screenplay. But neither of them dreamed up the film’s heroine—a real-life entrepreneur who recounted her adrenaline-fueled journey in the 2014 memoir called Molly’s Game: From Hollywood’s Elite to Wall Street’s Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker.

Although she had lived the story, Bloom was stunned by the character Chastain created on camera. “I was blown away,” says Bloom. “To see how powerful Jessica is and how nuanced she is in communicating the things I was feeling—I just thought she was incredible. My family and close friends were like, ‘It was like watching you on-screen.’ 

Gallery Links:

Photoshoots & Portraits > 2018 > #006 – The Wall Street Journal

Magazines & Scans > 2018 > #003 The Wall Street Journal

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