The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Jessica Chastain is The Heiress

One of our Big Read selections, Washington Square by Henry James, was famously adapted into a movie entitled The Heiress in 1949. Now, in 2012, a play of the same name has become a hit on Broadway. In this 21st-century take on a 19th-century novel (James wrote it in 1880), the versatile actress Jessica Chastain steps into the shoes of Catherine Sloper, a role which won Olivia de Havilland an Academy Award for the 1949 film. The commanding David Strathairn plays her cruel and exacting father, Dr. Austin Sloper. Here's a short clip of the play which closes on February 10. If you find yourself heading to New York City in the next month, you can find out more information here.

[flv:http://bigreadblog.arts.gov/video/HEIRESS_Scene1.mp4 450 300] Play excerpt used courtesy of Boneau/Bryan-Brown.

[transcript]

Also, you can hear the NEA's Big Read audio documentary about the book which includes not only master writers, Colm Toibin and Cynthia Ozick, but the inimitable actress, Olivia de Havilland.

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