HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry Music‘George & Tammy’ Star Jessica Chastain Reveals She Felt ‘Embarrassed’ Trying to Sing Like Tammy Wynette

‘George & Tammy’ Star Jessica Chastain Reveals She Felt ‘Embarrassed’ Trying to Sing Like Tammy Wynette

by Taylor Cunningham
Jessica Chastain
(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/FilmMagic)

George & Tammy star Jessica Chastain may be an Oscar-winning actress, but that doesn’t mean that she feels confident about every project that comes her way, especially when it came to singing like country music legend Tammy Wynette.

Chastain spoke with TV Insider about her Golden Globe-nominated performance in the Showtime miniseries, and she admitted that recreating the songstress was a humbling and nerve-wracking experience, despite the fact that she was trained to sing by one of the country’s top universities.

Interestingly, the 45-year-old had years to prepare for the role. She shared with the publication that she signed a contract with the creators a decade ago. So she took special care to really get to know Wynette before personifying her. But when it came time to perfect that famous soulful southern voice, she was a little mortified.

“I find that when I do work, it’s more interesting to me if I feel almost embarrassed. If I feel like I’m embarrassed doing something, it probably means I’ve never done it before,” Jessica Chastain admitted before adding that George & Tammy was “completely” out of her “comfort zone.”

Jessica Chastain and Co-Star Michael Shannon Covered 31 Songs in George & Tammy

The series includes only six installments. But Chastain and her co-star Michael Shannon performed 31 of Wynette and George Jones’ hits, which meant their vocals had to be near-perfect.

Ron Browning, a Nashville voice coach, helped the duo prepare for filming, and Chastain credits him for her success.

“He just helped me so much, and Liz Stein helped me with her voice. Cause her voice is so different than mine and her laugh and all of that stuff,” the actress continued. “I had done a little singing at Julliard when I was a student there, but there’s a different feel in country [music].”

During a separate interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jessica Chastain shared that she and Shannon went through “six weeks of rehearsals in New York” before flying to Tennessee. There, they worked with famed music producer T Bone Burnett for 10 straight days. Finally, the cast and crew went to North Carolina for filming.

“The way that the production was set up was that all the singing is live. So there was not one take where we lip-synced,” she said while chatting with TV Insider. “People were so generous with us because even playing a normal scene. You’re gonna try things that aren’t gonna work, and it doesn’t see the light of day. It’s the same thing with singing.”

“Like, I’m singing Stand by Your Man for ten hours,” Chastain added. “But it doesn’t mean I’m gonna hit that note every time. So every part of it was out of my comfort zone.