Jessica Chastain Defends Sean Penn’s Slam of ‘Tree of Life’

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Tree of Life actress Jessica Chastain was as surprised as everyone else when French newspaper Le Figaro quoted co-star Sean Penn as saying he wasn’t pleased with the film, which finally arrived in theaters this summer after six years in development.

“I was very surprised by the comment. The first thing I thought is, ‘Where did the comment come from?’ and I saw that it was a (publication) from another country,” she told Movie Line during a recent interview. “My first thought was that it was taken out of context, and then it was that it was mistranslated. There’s something that happened in the translation, and then it was picked up and put in a lot of other things.”

Having had her words taken out of context before, Chastain definitely felt Penn’s pain.

“I said something about gaining weight for The Help — about gaining 15 pounds and stuffing myself into a girdle in the heat of Mississippi…” she continued. “That comment got twisted into me saying that gaining weight was torture for me, which I never said. So I’m starting to realize, especially with the Internet and many, many media outlets, one comment can get shifted. It’s like a game of telephone. I haven’t talked to (Penn) about that comment yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was taken out of context.”   The 30-year-old is featured in several 2011 films, including The Help and Take Shelter, in addition to Tree of Life, which also stars Brad Pitt.

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