How Jessica Chastain & Michael Shannon Transformed Into Tammy Wynette & George Jones

In an exclusive interview with E! News, Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain detailed the extensive work they did to embody George Jones and Tammy Wynette in George & Tammy.

By Alli Rosenbloom, Daniel Trainor Dec 02, 2022 3:00 PMTags
Watch: Jessica Chastain Jokingly Remembers SPANKING Madonna on Stage

Jessica Chastain took Tammy Wynette's advice to stand by your man quite literally.

The Oscar winner plays the country music legend in Showtime's George & Tammy, premiering Dec. 4, and when it came to working with co-star Michael Shannon, who plays fellow country icon George Jones, Chastain explained that the two were always in step.

"We were really great partners, in that even when we had solo songs that the other one might not even be featured in, we would be present," Chastain exclusively told E! News about their creative process. "It really felt like something I just can't even imagine doing without Mike. We would warm up together even if we weren't necessarily both acting that day."

Shannon also found his bond with Chastain to be hugely beneficial to telling story of Wynette and Jones—who were married from 1969 to 1975—revealing to E!, "I'd come over and we'd go through our vocal exercises before we'd go on stage."

By the sounds of it, there were more than exercises going on, as Shannon said, "And then there was the medicinal tea."

Chastain confirmed, joking, "My medicinal tea. We had a little throat coat and bourbon situation happening."

Hey, what's country music without a little bourbon?

2023 TV Premiere Dates

However, when it came to an actual interaction with music legend Madonna—in which Chastain spanked the pop star on stage during her 2015 tour—the actress needed a bit more persuading from a friend to step into the spotlight.

"It was my friend's birthday and we were at the concert and I was asked if I wanted to go on stage," Chastain told E! News. "At first I said no and then my friend was like, ‘It's my birthday!' So I was like, ‘Alright.' So that's what led to that."

When Shannon was made aware of the shocking encounter, he responded jokingly, "I'm going to be sure to never get on my hands and knees in front of you."

Chastain responded, "Unless you want a spankin'!"

What a bond!


George & Tammy premieres Dec. 4 at 9 p.m. on Showtime, and will also be available to stream on the Showtime app.

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