Jessica Chastain is ready to portray a new kind of superhero – one that actually exists in the real world.
EW has an exclusive first look at the good nursea true crime thriller based on true events, starring Chastain as the nurse who went beyond the Hippocratic Oath to save countless lives, stopping one of America’s most prolific serial killers.
Based on the book The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder by Charles Graeber, the film tells the story of Amy Loughren (Chastain), a single mother who works a hospital night shift as a nurse while struggling with a life-threatening heart condition. Already stretched to her physical and emotional limits by her demanding job and schedule, she soon becomes suspicious of her new co-worker and friend Charlie Cullen (Eddie Redmayne) after a series of mysterious patient deaths triggers an investigation, and all the evidence seems point at him. as the main suspect. Amy ultimately risks her life and the safety of her children to discover the shocking truth about Charlie – and the frightening and unsettling reasons he’s managed to get away with his actions for so long.
When Chastain first read the script for the good nurse – written by Krysty Wilson-Cairns – she was horrified to learn that everything in the movie actually happened. “I live in New York and I had no idea who Charlie Cullen or Amy Loughren was,” Chastain told EW. “Hearing about this story and that this actually happened, I was very disappointed with the hospital system and for-profit medicine and the idea that it could go on for so long and be covered up. And I was incredibly impressed with Amy Loughren because without her I would have continued.”
Chastain felt honored to portray Loughren and bring her story to life, as “she is a real-life superhero”.
“We make so many movies about superheroes,” she adds. “My dad is a firefighter paramedic, my brother serves in the military – we are often surrounded by people who are doing the work to make all of our lives healthy and safe, and it often goes unnoticed, so I was very excited to use this opportunity to amplify her and her story and her courage.”
When Redmayne initially received the script for the good nurse, he immediately dove into Graeber’s book to learn more about Loughren’s story. “I couldn’t believe I didn’t know more about this,” Redmayne told EW. “The script itself and Charlie Graeber’s book were a surprising revelation. What struck me was that [Cullen] he showed and demonstrated great empathy, and he pitched his empathy in such an extraordinary way against these vulnerable people. It was really scary to see how someone – so damaged and with his history, how could he have gotten to a position where he had so much power over vulnerable people. He was hidden in plain sight.”
While Cullen was fascinating in a macabre way, it was Loughren’s actions that inspired Redmayne. “This heroic nurse was able to do things that the police and hospital system could not,” he says. “And one of the things I find so intriguing is that she used compassion and empathy to finally get to this person who was doing terrible things. with compassion. This, I hope, is something to take away [from watching this film].”
Chastain met the real Loughren as he prepared to portray her. The Oscar winner says hearing firsthand what Loughren was able to accomplish on her own was invaluable. “It’s really kind of a David and Goliath tale,” says Chastain. “Because hospitals are full of amazing human beings, surgeons, doctors, nurses, paramedics and technicians, everyone who works there – and here is this amazing woman who stood up to this corporation, this lucrative situation and did the right thing.”
While true crime thrillers are currently in vogue, Chastain was most drawn to this project not only by the facts behind the case, but also by the way director Tobias Lindholm brought the characters and story to life with a great sense of care and humanity. “Right now, there’s so much true-crime stuff to watch, and you see it with cable news, that kind of desire to learn about something salacious or gossipy,” she says. “I wasn’t really interested in that aspect. I was more interested in the cost of a human life and how the system failed everyone in this story. I wasn’t interested in any kind of sensationalism, and neither was Tobias… way he works and he can tell a story that is interesting, that makes us feel connected as a society, but also does it in a way that makes us feel whole and healthy and there are no expenses. something from him.”
Watch the first trailer for the good nurse exclusively below:
the good nurse opens in select theaters October 19 and on Netflix October 26.
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