New John Malkovich Movie, Disgrace, Features Breakout Actress Jessica Haines

South African actress, Jessica Haines, shines in her breakout role opposite one of Hollywood’s top talents, John Malkovich in ‘Disgrace'. In this role she plays the daughter of Malkovich, Lucy.

“It’s a character that an actress could work her whole career for,” says Haines, 30, who admits to some trepidation over her co-star. “You kind of expect [Malkovich] to be all these weird, psychopathic characters, but he was very gentle.”—via

Disgrace was just released on September 18 in select cities and is an adaption of J.M. Coetzee’s infamous Nobel Prize winning novel of the same name. It confronts the troubled state of modern South Africa and how post-apartheid has influenced the interactions of the country.

David Lurie (John Malkovich), twice-divorced and dissatisfied with his job as an English professor in post-apartheid South Africa, finds his life falling apart. When he seduces one of his students, Melanie (Antoinette Engel) and does nothing to protect himself from the consequences, he is dismissed from his teaching position, and goes to live with his lesbian daughter Lucy (Jessica Haines), who shares a farm in the Eastern Cape with trusted black worker Petrus (Eric Ebouaney). For a time, his daughter's influence and natural rhythms of the farm promise to harmonise his discordant life. But the balance of power in the country is shifting. In the aftermath of a vicious attack by three black youths, he is forced to come to terms with the changes in society - as well as his disgrace. - via

Haines was practically made for the role of Lucy given she actually grew up in the same rural town of Eastern Cape. Her personal experience of the conflict and issues that arise from South Africa helped Haines more effectively tap into the feelings and emotions captured in the storyline.

“If you don’t have a background where you’ve lived in a society that’s got trauma and conflict on a daily basis, then you don’t really understand the issues,” he explains. “I was looking at girls who were brought up on ‘Sex and the City’ and it’s not in their mind-set. Jess is an excellent actress combined with the fact that she has a deep understanding of the situation.” – According to the film’s Australian director, Steve Jacobs via

As you can see, this is a movie that will shine light on a culture that here in America we’re not completely familiar with. This movie aims to live up to the book in which it was adapted from. We look forward to seeing this young, new South African talent on the big screen very soon and wish her the best moving forward!

Are there any LUX Nation avid-readers out there that have actually read the book and have seen the movie? We’d love to hear from you and get your LUX movie report!

Tagged in: entertainment, j.m. coetzee’s, disgrace, nobel prize, john malkovich movie, jessica haines,


Jessica Haines in "Disgrace." Photo By Courtesy of Paladin

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