At the beginning of the decade, Jessica Chastain was a relative unknown, but by the end of 2011, she was one of the most respected and sought-after actresses in all of the land. That year, six of her films—including Take Shelter, The Tree of Life, and The Help, for which she received an Academy Award nomination—hit the screen, and ever since, Chastain has been recognized as one of the most beguiling performers in Hollywood.
The next year looks to be a repeat of that magical run, bringing another barrage of high-profile films for the 37-year-old Northern California native—films like Christopher Nolan’s frantically anticipated sci-fi epic Interstellar, J.C. Chandor’s ’80s-set thriller A Most Violent Year, in which she plays an embattled immigrant’s wife trying to make it in a rough-and-tumble New York, and Guillermo del Toro’s gothic horror film Crimson Peak. Perhaps most special to her, though, is The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. Written and directed by her friend Ned Benson (with helpful suggestions and inspiration from Chastain) and featuring a glittering cast that includes James McAvoy, Isabelle Huppert, Viola Davis, Ciarán Hinds, William Hurt, and Bill Hader, Rigby is a kind of he-said-she-said film told from two perspectives from within one couple (McAvoy and Chastain). In the works for some 10 years, this passion project of Chastain’s, which came to us as the singular, interwoven, Oscar-baiting drama last month (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them), will this month appear in its originally intended, double-barrel format (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him/Her—two separate films shown back-to-back).
For Chastain, the success has come fast and it has come big. But as she tells her friend Mindy Kaling, creator and star of The Mindy Project, over the phone from New York, you’ll never see her blink. [Read More]