Jessica Chastain Says She 'Didn't Even Know' Her X-Men Character's Name Until Seeing the Film

Jessica Chastain starred as Vuk in 2019's X-Men: Dark Phoenix, but after reshoots, rewrites and a studio acquisition, she said she was unsure who she even played in the film

Jessica chastain - dark phoenix
Photo: Marvel / Twentieth Century Fox/ Everett

Jessica Chastain is looking back on her role as Vuk in 2019's box office flop X-Men: Dark Phoenix, admitting she didn't even know her character's name until she saw the film for herself.

The actress, 44, starred in the most recent X-Men film as leader of the D'Bari people, as well as the character Margaret Smith — a woman Vuk impersonates. She told the Happy Sad Confused podcast on a Sept. 15 episode that her experience with the franchise was much different than what her Scenes from a Marriage co-star Oscar Isaac experienced in his own X-Men film.

Isaac, 42, previously played En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse in 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse. When asked by podcast host Josh Horowitz if she and Isaac ever "compared notes" on their films, Chastain said the two "definitely have talked about" their respective X-Men roles, and "the reality is, our situations were very different."

dark phoenix
Marvel / Twentieth Century Fox/ Everett

"My situation — I think the studio was bought at a certain point," Chastain said, referring to the 2019 Fox and Disney merger. While X-Men was originally produced under 21st Century Fox, the company was purchased by Disney in a $71.3 billion deal.

"I didn't even know what my character's name was until I saw the film," she admitted with a laugh. "What's happening?"

She added, "It was an interesting thing. Simon Kinberg, who directed it, is an incredible human being, and I've worked with him again. I love him."

Chastain said that going forward she's happy to play the villain again, but you won't see her portraying a superhero onscreen anytime soon.

"Give me a supervillain; I don't want to be a superhero because if you're a superhero, you're doing ten films," she said. "I don't want to sign a ten-year contract."

Dark Phoenix, which followed the events of X-Men: Apocalypse, debuted in the U.S. in February 2019 as the second-lowest grossing X-Men movie of all time, falling just below The New Mutants, which dropped during the pandemic, per ScreenRant.

While the film failed to pull in big box office numbers, it also disappointed critics and currently has a 22% approval rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.

NME slammed the film as "a final farewell that rings like a death knell," while IndieWire said Dark Phoenix "has no evident reason to exist."

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