‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’ | Anatomy of a Scene

“My name is Michael Showalter, and I’m the director of “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” So in this scene, our two main characters— Tammy Faye Bakker and Jim Bakker, played by Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield— are attending a barbecue hosted by Pat Robertson, which is also being attended by a who’s who of the big names in the evangelical community. In this scene, Jim Bakker is excited to be sitting at a table with all of these BMOCs and wanting to make a good impression. And Tammy Faye is going to crash the party. I wanted to show the extent to which Tammy is trying to operate and be seen and heard in a man’s world.” “As you were saying, Jerry. [LAUGHS] A lot of it, in terms of just setting the scene, is to try to throw as many looks around the table as possible of how uncomfortable it makes them feel just to have a woman wanting to sit down at the table with them. Meanwhile, Tammy is really behaving like a bull in a china shop, kind of overcompensating for the awkwardness by grabbing a chair, and the sound of the chair is very loud. Everything that she’s doing is disrupting this kind of insular boys club thing that they’re all having with each other.” “Now, God has a voice in this fight.” “Amen.” “Mm-hmm.” “Mm? What’s he fighting?” “Liberal agenda. Feminist agenda. Homosexual agenda. It’s time for a reversal of these trends and the only hopes in saving America.” “Get back to the good old days.” [LAUGHTER] “Well, I love our country, but America is for them too.” “Well—” “One of the things in this scene that’s creating a lot of tension is that Jerry Falwell, Vincent D’Onofrio, is sort of the alpha dog in this group of people. And so we are focusing in on this brewing rivalry of ideologies between these two characters.” “God is my witness. I made a pledge to continue to expose the sins in this country.” “I think Tammy doesn’t pick up on some of the tension that she’s creating. And if she is, she’s certainly not letting on.” “You know, I don’t think of them as homosexuals. I just think of them as other human beings that I love. You know, we’re all—” “That central conflict that is sort of ignited in this scene between her and Jerry Falwell ends up being the central theme of Tammy Faye’s arc throughout the entire film.”

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