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Jessica Chastain on not watching Tree of Life since its release

‘It’s so emotional for me,’ said the actress

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Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

With two dozen films under her belt, Jessica Chastain still holds on to one of her early roles as the “high point” of her life. 

In an interview with Huffington Post, the two-time Oscar nominee explains she has not seen director Terrence Malick’s upcoming Voyage of Time documentary, which uses footage from The Tree of Life in which she starred opposite Brad Pitt. “From the very beginning, Terry had said Voyage of Time was supposed to come out at the same time as Tree of Life, so we were all prepared for that movie,” she said. “I’ve been shooting in Santa Fe and I haven’t had an opportunity to see that movie, but Tree of Life is one of my favorite films. I haven’t been able to watch it since it came out because it’s so emotional for me. It was the high point of my life.”

Chastain is currently starring in Miss Sloane, a political thriller where she plays a laser-focused Washington lobbyist hell bent on being 10 steps ahead of her competition. While the actress has portrayed similar alpha characters, such as Maya in Zero Dark Thirty, she looks to her role as Mrs. O’Brien in The Tree of Life with emotional fondness, which keeps her from giving it repeat viewings.

The character was, in Chastain’s words, “the embodiment of love” in that 2011 cerebral drama, which followed a family’s journey through life. “Of course it affects you and how you treat other people. I loved those little boys so much, and I loved Terry so much,” she said. “Watching the movie and seeing Mrs. O’Brien running through the streets with those little boys, I remember how wonderful it was. I’m heartsick for it.”

Chastain will next be seen in The Zookeeper’s Wife, in theaters March 31. She portrays Antonina Zabinski, who, along with her husband, ran the Warsaw Zoo, which they used as a hiding place for escaped Jews during the Nazi Invasion.