THE ASTRONAUT'S WIFE
Jillian Armacost, played by Charlize Theron, is an unwavering wife whose husband and reality no longer make sense to her
Jillian Armacost, played by Charlize Theron,
is an unwavering wife whose husband and reality no longer make
sense to her. She is either a woman on the verge of a profound
nervous breakdown, or the only person in the world who realizes
that the impending birth of her twins may have dire consequences
Jillian experiences a host of reactions that are normal in pregnancy
- heightened sensitivity to sound and light; fear of her body's
rapid, astounding changes which can feel like mutations; concerns
about the truth of her husband's devotion; unnatural appetites
and a sense of being out of control. But are they normal in her
case? Are they symptoms of an old emotional breakdown returned?
Or . . . could it possibly be that they are hideous signs that
the tiny twins inside her are something not quite human?
As her pregnancy progresses and even her trusted doctors and closest
friends seem to be in on the conspiracy to hide the truth about
her pregnancy, Jillian rides the terrifying line between what
is imaginary and what is unimaginably true. To capture this extraordinary
experience, Charlize Theron journeyed deep inside the psychology
of fear and the primal instincts of survival.
"The Astronaut's Wife has what the very scariest films
have going for them - it's not just about something externally
monstrous; it's about emotional fears as well," states Theron.
"I think it's a visually, emotionally, sensually wild experience.
Jillian Armacost is a woman who finds herself in an incredible
situation and she needs to find the strength within in order to
survive. She has to find a way to heal herself. I think the film
takes an ordinary situation like being pregnant and going a little
crazy and heightens that fear of the unknown to make it extraordinary."
Theron sees Jillian as a woman who is already obsessed with shadows
long before she gets pregnant. "Jillian comes from a place
of questioning. She has all these dark little corners inside her,
all these skeletons in her past, and then she discovers she is
going to be a mother," observes the actress. "This is
very frightening to her, of course. Even under perfect circumstances,
she's not quite sure she's ready, but now that everything seems
to be so strange with her husband acting weird and bad things
happening to her husband's partner and his wife, it all seems
Because Jillian has so many obvious reasons to be frightened,
she questions her own sanity when bizarre events start happening
to her. "Jillian certainly thinks at first that she is making
this stuff up," admits Theron. "I think a lot of women
do that in relationships, blame it all on themselves. She really
finds herself all alone having to figure out if she is crazy or
if what is happening is real."
Although Theron was intrigued by Jillian's otherworldly circumstances,
she also enjoyed the essential emotional truth in Rand Ravich's
script. Theron says: "I think we've all had that fear of
waking up with someone you've been with for many years and realizing
they've changed. They're not the same person you thought they
were. And we all try to find out the truth about the people we
love, only sometimes it's much more than we can handle."
The fact that Theron could handle the many facets of her character,
while driving the suspense of the film, is what drew the filmmakers
to cast her. "She exudes intelligence and inspires sympathy,"
sums up Andrew La
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