For years, Hollywood has been talking about making a movie about the life of Tammy Wynette and George Jones, who were married and sang duets together in the 1970s. Now with Oscar winner Jessica Chastain playing Wynette, a six-part mini-series is close to release. Actor Michael Shannon will play George Jones.
Jessica told Vanity Fair about the project she first agreed to in 2011. She admits she didn’t know much about the “First Lady Of Country Music,” but after doing some research, she was intrigued. She said, “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. 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.”
Dubbed George & Tammy, the series will focus on the couple who married in 1969, charted many country music hits, and divorced in 1975. Chastain said, “I was really moved by the love story between them—I started to listen to the music and understood that they were always singing to each other. They were both a huge part of each other’s lives.”
Shannon told Vanity Fair of the role of one of the greatest country singers of all time, “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.”
The actors turned to a Nashville vocal coach to rehearse George and Tammy’s songs to get them just right. Shannon offered, “These songs, they’re pretty deep, and they’ve got some dark corners in them, and we spent a lot of time with them. 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.”
George & Tammy is expected to stream on Paramount+ before the year’s end.