Michael Shannon Recalls Changing “Neanderthal” Line In ‘George & Tammy’

Michael Shannon George & Tammy

We’re in the middle of this George & Tammy Showtime series, and thus far, it’s lived up to its hype.

The series wracked up a whopping 3.3 million views between its premiere on Showtime, Paramount+, and CMT, making it the highest viewed premiere in Showtime history.

George & Tammy star Jessica Chastain has been nominated for a Golden Globe as well.

Of course, it’s almost impossible to fully document the tumultuous relationship between George Jones and Tammy Wynette in one season of a TV show, but so far they’ve done a great job of documenting the story, to give us all a glimpse of what life was like between these two country stars.

The show stars Michael Shannon as Jones, and Jessica Chastain as Wynette.

But speaking of Chastain, she recently shared some intriguing information about one scene in particular that “disturbed her,” according to Marie Claire. 

She’s talking about a scene that was originally supposed to air in the first episode, where Wynette and Jones discuss their future, while she’s still married to her husband at the time, Don Chapel.

According to Chastain, the scene was originally supposed to show Jones trying to get Wynette alone by distracting Chapel with an escort.

Chastain was not about it at all. She told the outlet:

“I read it, and I was deeply disturbed. (Tammy) was just kind of sitting there. People were creating stuff so she could be caught rather than her making decisions.”

The scene was scratched, and Shannon also tweaked one of his lines as well.

At the dinner scene in the first episode, which essentially is the moment when George flips the table and professes his love for Tammy Wynette, Tammy’s husband Don Chapel delivers a pretty nasty line in front of the children:

“You’re going to f*ck my wife, aren’t you George?”

And the original script basically had George tell him yeah… straight up, at the man’s own dinner table.

However, Shannon thought the line was pretty out of line and made a change.

Chastain continued:

“Michael changed the line from, ‘Yes, I’m going to f*ck her’ — excuse the language — to, ‘I sure would like to.’

The second he said, ‘I sure would like to,’ it was like, ‘Oh, yes, this is happening.’ Because he sees her as someone who gets to make the decision.

And that’s working with an actor who’s very aware he doesn’t own me.”

Shannon added:

“The notion of sitting in front of another man and looking at a woman and proclaiming that you’re going to f*ck her, seems a little neanderthal to me.

I mean, if I was the woman in question, I wouldn’t enjoy that so much.”

Chastain, who is also the producer for the show, added that her intentions were to assert Wynette’s choices and humanity, but also make sure that she was respected as well:

“To be a producer, and to have a production company, means you get to police that in the writing. You get to say, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. We need to honor women as human beings.

And they make their own choices… just like men do.'”

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the show yet, give it a try… it’s damn good.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock