Vanity Fair removed a post by staffer Bruce Handy questioning the appeal of Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain, who, “as if she were Hollywood kudzu,” he wrote, “has starred in half of all films released over the past two years.” The column landed “just before final paper ballots went out and online voting began,” Nikki Finke writes. Chastain was nominated for Best Actress, which she lost to Jennifer Lawrence. Finke helpfully republishes the banished post, which includes these sentences:
The truth is, she doesn’t really have that much to do in Zero Dark Thirty, either, where a lot of the performance takes place in reaction shots, and she’s mostly required to just look fierce and determined. She’s very good at that—and I doubt it’s easy—but I’m surprised it’s being hailed as one of the year’s great performances, and that it has earned her an Oscar nomination for best actress. It’s not the sort of flashy thing, like playing a transgendered murder victim or quadriplegic boxer, that the Academy normally rewards.
A Vanity Fair publicist told Finke, “We took it down because it ran counter to what a number of people at the magazine believed.”