The worlds of prestige TV drama and country music are set to collide with the miniseries on Paramount+, George & Tammy. The upcoming miniseries stars Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain as music icons George Jones and Tammy Wynette.
The limited series will serve as an acting showcase with Michael Shannon (an Oscar nominee) and Jessica Chastain (an Oscar winner) taking on the tumultuous relationship between two of country’s biggest stars. Chastain hyped the upcoming show’s release with some sneak peeks on Twitter.
About a year ago we were in music rehearsals, learning some of George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s biggest hits. Nerves were high, emotions were higher as we tried to channel these two country legends. A year has passed and we can finally start to share their story with you. pic.twitter.com/ecIscsetA2— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) October 7, 2022
“About a year ago we were in music rehearsals, learning some of George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s biggest hits,” Chastain wrote in her post. “Nerves were high, emotions were higher as we tried to channel these two country legends. A year has passed and we can finally start to share their story with you.”
While speaking to Vanity Fair, Chastain said she was drawn to the role because of the contradictory nature of Wynette’s music and her up-and-down love life.
“It was fascinating to me that someone like Tammy Wynette, who sang all these songs like ‘Stand by Your Man,’ also was married five times,” Chastain said. “I was excited about this woman who was married and divorced multiple times and struggling in Nashville and really made a name for herself on her own. She charted multiple times before she met George Jones.”
Michael Shannon on the Music of George Jones
Chastain previously worked with Shannon on the 2011 film Take Shelter and they remained friends ever since. Shannon also spoke about the role and admitted he never listened to much of George Jones’s music. But once he signed on he was enamored with their epic story.
“Frankly, I wasn’t that familiar with George Jones,” Shannon said. “I’m not a huge country music fan. I’m more of a jazz guy, really. But when she brought it to my attention, I got pretty seduced by the whole thing. It’s a tragic story, but it’s also a very romantic one. George Jones is, to my ear, one of the finest singers I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s obviously a fool’s errand to try to completely emulate that. That’s one of the reasons he’s legendary, is that there will never be another one like him.”
Shannon is actually a musician himself in addition to being an actor. Chastain said he’s a “great singer” and knew having an experienced musician as Jones would help bring the story together.
“These songs, they’re pretty deep. They’ve got some dark corners in them, and we spent a lot of time with them,” Shannon said. “In addition to learning how to sing them, I think they also kind of taught us about who the people were and the story we were telling.”