Jessica Chastain ends speculation on The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo casting – and fans are devastated

Jessica Chastain addresses fan rumours on Celia St. James casting in Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

Jessica Chastain has shut down fan theories that she will play fictional sapphic icon Celia St James in the film adaptation of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

So why is Oscar-winner Chastain being forced to release statements about a queer role she never signed up for? Good question.

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s historical fiction novel is hugely popular on BookTok, with #TheSevenHusbandsofEvelynHugo racking up more than 381 million views on TikTok. It follows an old Hollywood sapphic love story between fictional actresses Evelyn Hugo and Celia.

In March 2022, Netflix announced they would be adapting the best-selling LGBTQ+ book, with Once Upon A Time‘s Liz Tigelaar writing the screenplay and Reid on board as executive producer.

As with anything with a hugely invested super fandom, many people quickly started speculating about who would be cast in the roles of their beloved characters, which brings us to Chastain.

Jessica Chastain in her beloved "Evelyn Hugo" green dress. (Getty)
Jessica Chastain in the green dress that sparked fans’ hopes. (Getty)

The Interstellar actor soon became the hottest name on every fan’s lips with gorgeous ginger hair and a stunning green dress to boot. It was so talked about that on his chat show, Watch What Happens Live, in January, Andy Cohen asked the “highly popular” fan question of Chastain: Is she taking the role?

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“I am aware there is an online thing about it and sure send me the script,” she answered.

However, fans’ hopes have now been crushed after seeing a viral clip of her refusing to sign a copy of the book at the stage door for her current theatre show, A Doll’s House, and saying: “I can’t sign that because I am not doing it.”

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Taking to Twitter to address fans’ anguish, she explained: “I’ve been asked multiple times to sign books that I’m not attached to contractually. It feels wrong, and like I’m taking credit for someone else’s work.

“I’ll say I can’t sign because I’m not doing it. That doesn’t mean I’ve read a bad script. I know how excited many of you are about adaptations. Please don’t read too much into a video. There is no news about anything.”

Anticipation for the upcoming drama has increased following Amazon Prime’s adaptation of Reid’s other bestseller Daisy Jones and the Six. But there has been no update on casting or a release date for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

Although Chastain kept her statement suitably vague, fans have all but accepted that it is unlikely they will be seeing the star in the role and have shared their feelings of devastation.

“In a perfect world, you’d be perfect for the role and I’ll never be happy again. Respectfully,” one fan lamented. While another added: “Devastating loss for the sapphic community.”

As one fan put it: “I don’t get why everyone is so upset like we all knew they could not afford an Oscar winner and when has a fan cast ever come true.”

Another mourned the news by writing: “RIP Jessica Chastain as Celia St James, you will always be famous and the most wanted fan cast of all time.”

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