Jane Winslett-Richardson
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Jane Winslett-Richardson

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

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About Her

Visiting… the Belafonte, the ship of oceanographer, explorer, and documentarian Steve Zissou. She is there on behalf of the magazine Oceanographic Explorer to cover Zissou’s journey to hunt down kill the fabled Jaguar shark that ate Zissou’s best friend.

Profession… reporter. Jane is old school: frank, no-nonsense, and hard-hitting. The Zissou story was her idea, and she isn’t getting reimbursed for travel expenses. Her desire to write about Zissou goes all the way back to her childhood, when she had a picture of him tacked up on her wall above her fish tank.

Interests… constantly chewing on a stick of bubble gum. She stores her used gum in a glass of water so that she can get the most out of each stick.

Relationship Status… five months pregnant via her editor, who is married to someone else. She has two courters on the Belafonte: Zissou and Zissou’s purported long-lost son, Ned Plimpton. There might be too much tension between her and Zissou, but she seems to have more of a thing for Plimpton’s Southern charm and pencil-thin moustache.

Challenge… getting the story she needs out of Zissou, who turns out to be a very obnoxious interviewee. He agreed to have her aboard because he thought her story would be a puff piece. As he puts it, “I don't have a problem with objective reporting. What I have a problem with is some wombat coming on my boat trying to railroad me.”

Personality… jaded, stubborn, and honest. Jane is a strong woman and will snap at people who try to belittle her, as she does to Zissou often: “I am pregnant. I’m not even going to ask what you men are doing out here in your matching pajamas, by the way.” Despite this tough exterior, she worries about her baby and cries often. Characteristic of her British upbringing, she attempts to cope by addressing the baby head-on. She says “effing” as an effort to stop cursing before the baby is born, and she reads her book aloud so the baby can hear.

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