Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac might have Harrison Ford to thank for bringing them together. The stars of J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year have known each other since their school days at Manhattan’s prestigious Juilliard School. But as kids, their first cinematic experiences were blockbusters starring Ford. For Chastain, it was one of the Indiana Jones films; for Isaac, Return of the Jedi.
Isaac is careful not to dwell too long on Star Wars—he and Ford are in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming sequel—but in an exclusive conversation about their early years, interspliced with clips from their current onscreen collaboration, the two actors talk about the personal moments when they decided that acting was something they wanted or needed to do with their lives.
A Most Violent Year, a gritty drama set in 1981 New York, debuted in a handful of theaters last week. It will continue to expand until it opens nationwide on Jan. 30. Chastain, who plays the more-pragmatic wife of Isaac’s ambitious New York businessman, is up for a Best Supporting Actress trophy at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards.