During our big awards-season event The Contenders Presented By Deadline, Miss Sloane star Jessica Chastain did not mince words about how she approached playing the explosive role of D.C. lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane in the EuropaCorp release directed by John Madden.

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Appearing with Madden last month on the panel at the DGA theater in front of a packed audience of Oscar and key guild voters, Chastain explains that when she approaches a role she goes all out. It was no different this time as she traveled to Washington, D.C. and met with 11 women lobbyists, studying their clothes, demeanor and everything else. Among her observations: seven of them wore black nail polish, which either represents a trend among female lobbyists or some other disturbing sign of sorts.

Madden, meanwhile, tells how he was drawn to directing a movie about such an unusual character, and incorporating a fast-paced style to tell Sloane’s twisting and turning story.

Check out their conversation with Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr above.