Jessica Chastain to Play Country Music Legend Tammy Wynette in Limited Series

     September 10, 2020

jessica-chastain-tammy-wynette-show-george-and-tammy

Two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain is set to play country music legend Tammy Wynette in the limited series George & Tammy, which will debut exclusively on Spectrum for that cable company’s subscribers before making its way to Paramount Network and ViacomCBS’ forthcoming streaming service nine months later.

Created by Abe Sylvia (Dead to Me), the limited series follows country music power couple George Jones and Tammy Wynette, whose complicated relationship inspired some of the most iconic music of all time. Known as the “First Lady of country music,” Wynette’s lyrics tackled serious issues including loneliness, divorce and heartbreak. Wynette’s most successful song “Stand by Your Man” is one of the most iconic and bestselling country singles by a female artist, and with 20 songs that topped the country charts, there’s no question she was one of the most influential women in music. Her tumultuous marriage to Jones in 1969 led to iconic duets including “We’re Gonna Hold On,” “Golden Ring” and “Near You.”

Sylvia serves as an executive producer alongside Andrew Lazar (American Sniper), Josh Brolin and Chastain, and it wouldn’t shock me to see Brolin play Jones, though I imagine that if that were to be the case, today’s press release would’ve included such information. Instead, it’s possible that Brolin’s commitment to Outer Range and several other projects may have simply prevented him from taking a role here… or maybe he just can’t sing, but is still a big country fan. Either way, Brolin isn’t known as a prolific producer, so he must have some kind of personal connection to this project, though he may also have simply been attached to an earlier incarnation.

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Image via Sony Pictures

Speaking of personal connections, the project is based on a book by Jones and Wynette’s daughter, Georgette Jones, titled The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George.

Elsewhere, David Glasser, David Hutkin and Bob Yari will executive produce for 101 Studios (Yellowstone) along with writer Bryan Goluboff, who was actually my industry adviser (or something like that) when I studied screenwriting at NYU, and once wrote a Shazam! screenplay.

“I first read Abe’s feature script a few years ago and couldn’t get it out of my head — the examination of human frailty and redemption was so unexpected, given the glitz and glamour of the subject matter,” said Katherine Pope, head of Spectrum Originals. “We all thought we knew who Tammy Wynette was, but there is so much more to her that we never saw. Jessica brings her incredible depth of intelligence, empathy and strength to peel back all the layers of this country superstar.”

“I’ve been a massive fan of George & Tammy’s iconic music since I was a kid, leading me to chase this incredible script by Abe for years. It’s a dream come true to have Jessica at the forefront of the complex tale behind Tammy Wynette,” said ViacomCBS exec Keith Cox.

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Image via Fox Searchlight

“This project has been a labor of love for everyone involved, especially Andrew and Jessica . We first heard about it nearly seven years ago when it was pitched as a feature film. After Abe Sylvia’s success in television with Nurse Jackie and Dead to Me, we thought George & Tammy could also be re-envisioned as a series,” added Glasser, who said he’s “thrilled to be able to bring this story to life.”

“Tammy Wynette is an American icon, and I can think of no one better to illuminate the woman behind the legend than Jessica Chastain. After having the honor of penning The Eyes of Tammy Faye for Freckle Films and Searchlight, I so look forward to another collaboration with her,” said Sylvia.

As Sylvia just said, Chastain will soon be seen in Michael Showalter‘s The Eyes of Tammy Faye, in which she and Andrew Garfield play famous televangelists, while Vincent D’Onofrio co-stars as Jerry Falwell. For more on that other Tammy project, click here.

Television