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Jessica Chastain struggled to fight in heels on The Huntsman

Published 24/04/2016

Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain was initially hesitant to sign on as Chris Hemsworth's onscreen wife because she didn't want to play a damsel in distress.

Jessica Chastain was constantly stumbling on the set of The Huntsman: Winter's War because she had to fight in shoes with hidden high heels.

The Help star portrays Chris Hemsworth's wife in the Snow White and the Huntsman prequel, and the all-action role required Jessica, who is best known for her dramatic work, to undergo weeks of intense fight training.

However, the actress, who is five feet, four inches (1.6 metres), was thrown off when she arrived on set for her first day and learned she would have to pull off all of her stunts wearing heels, so she wouldn't look too short next to her leading man, who towers over her at six feet, three inches (1.9 metres).

"I had worked in New York with someone Universal (studio bosses) had sent (to learn how to fight onscreen), then I went to London for three weeks to work with the stunt team, and I was feeling confident," she smiled on U.S. breakfast show Today, "and then Chris shows up, who's like 6'5 or something, and (costume designer) Colleen Atwood had built these shoes that look like flats, but they've got about four and a half inches hidden inside!"

The hidden heels proved to be more than a little tricky for Jessica: "Sometimes we'd be doing a scene, walking through the woods and the grass, and I'd be very serious, and then I'd just fall out of frame!"

Jessica also revealed she was a little hesitant to sign up for the movie when Chris initially approached her to join him on the project.

"Chris Hemsworth came up to me at the Critics Choice Awards and said, 'There's this film and we wanna send you the script and you'd play my wife,'" she recalled. "And I said, 'I would love to do one of these action adventure films, but I don't wanna be the wife (saying), 'Alright honey, have a good time, I believe in you!' I wanna kick some butt!' And he said, 'Don't worry, you do.'"

Her willingness to throw herself into the action scenes even left her other co-stars, Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt, in awe of her stunt abilities.

Emily recently confessed watching Jessica in action made them feel terrible after grumbling about poor shoe choices and the heavy gowns they had to wear to play evil sisters in the fantasy film.

"Charlize and I spent our time hobbling around in high heels going, 'My feet hurt!' That was the extent of our action," Emily told WENN. "Jessica would come into the make-up bus just pouring with sweat from something some awful stunt coordinator had made her do."

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