Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne passed through the Toronto Film Festival Monday morning where they discussed their true-crime thriller The Good Nurse.
The film centers on Amy Loughren (Chastain), a nurse who starts to believe that her colleague Charlie Cullen (Redmayne) is responsible for a series of mysterious patient deaths and risks her own life to uncover the truth.
“The thing I liked so much about the film is that we see so often films about a serial killer or a story and its fetishized,” Chastain said while discussing why she joined the project. “You’d see him injecting the bags and I’ve always felt a little dirty watching that stuff. I don’t wanna celebrate or have the media glorify what happened to another human being. I wanna celebrate humanity, which is why I was excited about this.”
Discussing her collaboration with Redmayne, she added: “I’ve always been a big admirer of Eddie and his work, so when this project showed up and Tobias mentioned that he would like Eddie to play Charles it really felt like something that would be special.”
Later during the presser, Redmayne spoke at length about his process of acting alongside Chastain and the difficulty they found reenacting the methods of real-life medical professionals.
“Whenever we did a take, of course, you want to please your director, but then Jo, the nurse who was there every day you’d also be like ‘how’d I do?’ And he’s like ‘Nah, they would’ve died. That would not have worked.’”
The true-crime thriller is directed by Oscar-nominated A War scripter Tobias Lindholm, who also co-wrote the 2020 Danish pic Another Round. Krysty Wilson-Cairns penned the script based on Charles Graeber’s book. Wilson-Cairns — who was also in attendance at TIFF — said her main goal with the film’s script was to portray the courage of Chastain’s Amy Loughren.
“In the very beginning, I just wanted to make Amy feel real. And like you say, lots of superheroes are billionaires in batsuits, they’re not single mums,” Wilson-Cairns began. “I’m the child of a single mum and I watched her be a superhero all the time. And I really wanted to see that on-screen. We can’t all be billionaires in Batsuits but we can aspire to be like her, which is a very worthy aspiration.”
The Good Nurse is Tobias Lindholm’s first American-set, English-language film. Later during the presser, the director broke down why he decided to board the flick.
“I don’t think true crime is a genre, it’s like hollow darkness. It’s out job as storytellers to fill humanity in there. The story about Amy was that reason in this case,” he said. “I felt portraying a female, a real-life superhero who went through so much and became an example to us all that what we do in our society matters was an important story to tell.”
The film is produced by Scott Franklin, Darren Aronofsky, and Michael A. Jackman. Executive Producers are Ari Handel, Glen Basner, Jonathan Filley, and Josh Stern. Additional credits include cinematography by Jody Lee Lipes and editing by Adam Nielsen.
After its TIFF bow, The Good Nurse opens October 19 in North America and starts streaming a week later on Netflix, which paid big to acquire the pic at the European Film Market in February.