Jessica Chastain, Michael Shannon duet on ‘George and Tammy’ – The Hollywood Reporter

George and TammyShowtime limited series about the turbulent lives and relationships between country stars George Jones and Tammy Wynette, which premiered in Los Angeles on Monday during Jessica’s more than decade-long journey Chastain.

Star — just won an Oscar for playing another Tammy in Tammy Faye’s Eyes — has been with the project since 2011 when it was first developed into a film, and is also a producer on the series.

Chastain said hollywood reporter that she was so inspired by host Abe Sylvia’s passion for the couple’s story that it “put me down the rabbit hole of who they were and then I became obsessed with them too.” .”

“I’m very protective of them and I can’t imagine anyone else playing her, and I can’t imagine anyone else playing George, that’s why I called Mike,” she continued, pointing on co-star Michael Shannon, whom she recruited to play Jones. “I know how much Mike is protective of the characters he plays so I feel it is the right recipe for a work environment.”

The two actors have been friends for a long time since co-starring in 2011 Find shelteras Shannon said he didn’t know much about Jones before taking on the role but “I loved working with Jessica and I love singing so it was a perfect match.”

Shannon — a former musician as a member of the indie rock band Corporal — and Chastain both underwent intensive vocal training in preparation for the performance, and reflected on the first time they sang. together on screen with the duet “Something To Brag About.”

“It was fun, it was like the end. We worked for a long time,” recalls Chastain, Shannon added, “We waited a long time to do it and the others were really excited and they were so good to us — no one else. throw apples, tomatoes or whatever. It’s a fun song and it’s not too difficult so it’s fun.”

Sylvia said he was surprised as well as relieved when he first heard his two main characters sing together.

“I was like, ‘This will work,’ he recalls. “It was a big change to take on these icons. They have amazing chemistry as friends and actors and incredible trust, so they go together to some very dark places and some very fun places.”

He continued: “If they didn’t have long-standing friendships, trust, and a spirit of play, the show wouldn’t have been successful. “The show is dancing on their chemical needles.”

Sylvia says she fell in love with the pair through her research and fueled the decades-long development process because it’s “too important for a story and too beautiful to be fought for.” for it”. He knows Chastain – who he also worked with when writing Tammy Faye’s Eyes – was his Tammy Wynette after seeing her in Tree of Lifeand talk about the importance of her and Shannon actually singing in the movie.

“I think it’s important to remember that George and Tammy themselves conveyed so much pain and beauty and sadness and joy and happiness and all of these emotions in their voices, and that’s it. what we wanted to document with Michael and Jessica,” Sylvia said. “The vocals are recorded live and you can always feel their true emotions in their voices, which is how they are most like George and Tammy.”

And despite the long road to the screen, the creator is never discouraged: “I think the country music gods have been counting on us on this project, let’s make sure we do it the right way. .”

George and Tammy premieres on Showtime on December 4.

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