In a new interview for the December/January issue of Town & Country, the 40-year-old actress expressed hope that things may be changing.
"I think the industry is beginning to examine itself and how it has perceived female roles. I’m seeing a lot of really interesting discussions, and I do think it’s changing," she said, while acknowledging that "we have a long way to go in the world in all industries."
For her part, Chastain said she has always been deliberate in choosing her roles.
"I am not one to go for traditional female roles because I don’t think traditionally female characters are very interesting and I don’t think they represent real life," she told Town & Country. "I’m working hard to break free of stereotypes that the film industry has created and nurtured around women."
She's especially aware of the impact her choices can have on young girls watching in the audience.
"With 'The Martian,' I was excited that young girls were seeing that movie and knowing it was possible to be a female commander on a space mission. I believe that the energy you put out into the world is what you get back, so I’m trying to put something positive out there, something to inspire girls to go into science, to run for office, to try to join the space program," she said.