Marianne Smyth on her life in loves, from art to sandals
Marianne Smyth on her life in loves, from art to sandals

Marianne Smyth

‘The saddest, loneliest thing’: Jessie J on her solo fertility journey and the isolation of miscarriage
‘The saddest, loneliest thing’: Jessie J on her solo fertility journey and the isolation of...

Sarah Finnan

The menopause beauty toolkit to know
The menopause beauty toolkit to know

Melanie Morris

8 creative tile ideas that will elevate any room in your house
8 creative tile ideas that will elevate any room in your house

Megan Burns

Even ‘Euphoria’ star Maude Apatow has an embarrassing dad
Even ‘Euphoria’ star Maude Apatow has an embarrassing dad

Sarah Finnan

We’re all sick of working out at home, but this YouTube ballet workout makes a great change
We’re all sick of working out at home, but this YouTube ballet workout makes a...

Erin Lindsay

Midweek vegan: peanut avocado brown rice crunch bowl
Midweek vegan: peanut avocado brown rice crunch bowl

Meg Walker

Career Break: Three women tell their (very different) stories about taking time from work
Career Break: Three women tell their (very different) stories about taking time from work

Erin Lindsay

My ravenous consumption of ‘What I Eat in a Day’ videos was fuelled by disordered eating
My ravenous consumption of ‘What I Eat in a Day’ videos was fuelled by disordered...

IMAGE

‘Flow Fest’: The ultimate wellness festival coming to Dublin
‘Flow Fest’: The ultimate wellness festival coming to Dublin

IMAGE

I can’t stop thinking about Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac… even though I know it’s fake
Image / Living

Twitter

I can’t stop thinking about Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac… even though I know it’s fake


by Sarah Finnan
08th Sep 2021

Former Julliard classmates and friends for over 20 years, Jessica Chastain and Isaac Oscar are both in committed relationships with other people… and yet, we can’t help but melt at their Venice red carpet exchange.

Admittedly, it doesn’t usually take much to get the internet talking, but a video of Oscar Isaac smouldering at Jessica Chastain on the red carpet was always going to do it. 

You all know the clip I’m talking about. It’s saturated our social media feeds since it first popped up online a few days ago; you couldn’t avoid it even if you wanted to. Though who would?! Just a rough estimate, but I’ve probably watched it around 20 times so far today. 

Not to be dramatic, but I already know the clip will live rent-free in my head for the rest of eternity. There’s something hypnotic about it. I’ve watched it in slow motion, in real-time, with a Lana Del Rey track superimposed over it – all good, though Young and Beautiful ringing out in the background brings a whole new level of theatrics to the scene.

Like most other fans around the world, I’m well aware that the whole thing is a ruse… but I’m thoroughly invested all the same. Even more so than I was when Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper tried to con us into thinking they were a couple. Simply put, Gaga and Cooper walked so Jess and Oscar could run. 

We all know that these people are actors; that they’re paid to make us believe things that aren’t true… but we’re also kind of in denial about it too. We watch a movie and think, ‘Hey, they’re pretty talented’. Then we walk out of the cinema and forget. We assume the performance has ended because the final credits have rolled, but an actor’s job extends way beyond what we see onscreen. As a matter of fact, the run-up to award season is when most of our favourite Hollywood heavyweights do their best work. 

Let’s refer back to Gaga and Cooper and their now-famous Oscar’s duet for a moment. The two leads of A Star Is Born, the duo reunited for a rendition of the song Shallow at the 2019 Academy Awards ceremony and their chemistry was palpable. So much so that they managed to convince almost everyone that they were very much in love. We now know that they weren’t. 

Gaga later told Elle magazine that the calculated move was a ploy – they were committed to selling their romance to us even after the movie had already premiered. “Quite frankly, I think the press is very silly,” Gaga said shortly after the performance went viral. “I mean, we made a love story. For me, as a performer and as an actress, of course we wanted people to believe that we were in love. And we wanted people to feel that love at the Oscars. We wanted it to go right through the lens of that camera and to every television that it was being watched on.”

Cut back to the present and Chastain and Isaac are doing the exact same thing. At the Venice Film Festival to promote their upcoming HBO series Scenes From A Marriage, they play Mira and Jonathan respectively. An English language remake of a 1973 Swedish mini-series of the same name, it re-examines all of the original work’s themes – from love to hatred, desire to monogamy. 

As was the case with Gaga and Cooper, both parties are already in committed relationships and not with each other… knowledge which could hinder how their onscreen partnership is perceived. The solution? A very public display of affection. While neither party could have anticipated just how much of a hold their brief exchange would have on us, safe to say that their plan worked and we’ve all fallen for it, hook, line and sinker. 

Embracing the Twitter storm that ensued the insanely intimate moment, Chastain added her two cents by way of a cheeky cultural reference that did little to defuse the situation. Tweeting a photo of Gomez Addams kissing Morticia’s outstretched arm, she accompanied it with the words “Sept 12th” – a nod to the series’ upcoming premiere date. 

While it’s hard to pin down why exactly we’re so smitten with the clip, I do think timing has a whole lot to do with it. Our lives have been void of any real excitement for several long months now and most of us are eager to get our social lives back on track. As Vanity Fair points out though, “sensuality is sorely lacking in our sad new world”. Human touch is still one of the grey areas when it comes to getting back to “normal” and though we crave intimacy and to hug and kiss anyone and everyone in sight (with their consent, of course), it still makes us nervous. Watching the A-listers do it from a safe distance is enough of a thrill, for now. 

The article later notes that “very online people are drawn to over-identify with celebrities because real life is bleak and so many of the movies and TV shows on offer right now are even bleaker”. We don’t want reality, we want escapism, which is probably why we’re so willing to accept the exchange between Chastain and Isaac at face value.  

The gesture is believable because, as stated above, it’s insanely intimate. Isaac went beyond kissing his co-star’s hand – which wouldn’t really have told us anything about their rapport – instead planting one on her upper bicep. All while his wife looked on, smiling and untroubled by the whole thing. Together they ooze sexual chemistry but that’s not surprising given Isaac’s reputation as the king of sexual tension. 

Quite frankly, I don’t care if it’s nothing more than a publicity stunt, I’ll buy whatever they’re selling. 

You can watch the trailer for the upcoming Scenes From A Marriage below.