“I’m not quite used to this.” says Jessica Chastain, sitting in the lobby of New York City’s Mercer Hotel, acknowledging the double takes and stares around her. Its no wonder: Even thought it may seem that she arrived in Hollywood a total star, with 2011’s The Help and then Zero Dark Thirty, Chastain hasn’t actually been famous – as in turn-around-and-stare-at-her-famous – for very long.
Just six years, 18 films, two Oscar nominations, a Golden Globe, and $640 million in box office ticked sales ago, in fact, Chastain was a theater actress who’d never been in a film – at an age, 31, when many begin to think of giving up on Hollywood. Raised in Sacramento, California, by a chef mom and a firefighter stepdad, she says she went “through the hallways of school feeling lonely and not like I fit in” until she found friends – and her confidence – in drama class. “Like that show Glee,” she says, laughing as she spears a bite of fruit salad.
The first in her family to go to college (Chastain grew up with three siblings, two of whom are teenagers and the other of whom serves in the military), she vaulted from Sacramento City College to New Yoek’s prestigious Juilliard School thanks to the unlikely fairy godfather who funded her scholarship, the late Robin Williams.
But Chastain never chased celebrity; it found her. More accurately, Al Pacino (“he’s super, super funny,” she says) did in 2006, when he cast her in Oscar Wilde’s racy play Salomé. Producers and directors noticed, and by 2011 The Help, a nearly $200 million box office sensation, earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination and helped her sput a resurgence of women-driven films. Soon after, The Three of Life with Chastain alongside Brad Pitt, was the toast of the Cannes Film Festival – and in 2013 she won the Golden Globe for her portrayal of a relentless CIA agent chasing Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty.
But all that, it seems, was just a preamble to this fall’s blitz: Chastain has three movies coming out in three months. There’s the top-secret sci-fi film Interstellar, with Matthe McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, this month. Last month was The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them (it’s actually one film in three parts, and yes, the awards buzz is buzzing away), and in late December it’s going to be all about A Most Violent Year – cue more Oscar speculation – in which Chastain plays a New York mob wife who might actually be thoughter than her gangster husband, played by Oscar Isaac. Now 37, reportedly dating the very poshly named fashion exec Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, Chastain may be a “little shy” – but she grows bolder by the minute right in front of me at lour little table as she starts talking about women in Hollywood and “having it all.” When it comes to speaking her mind, she’s bot shy one bit. [Read more]
Jessica was interviewed by the spanish magazine Fotogramas while she was in Spain to promote The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby at the San Sebastian festival. Watch it:
Another day, another cover. Jessica is killing on cover of Glamour US and I have up some scanned pages (will add more – if any – as soon I got my hands on the issue) thanks to The Fashion Spot.
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]
Scans of the recent Harper’s Bazaar UK issue, also high quality outtakes has been added to our gallery. Check it:
Last Saturday (27) Jessica was photographed in Manhattan (New York) wearing a beautiful t-shirt of “To Write Love On Her Arms” (a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide). She discussed it with Yahoo as well, in an interview while promoting The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (you can read the whole interview behind the cut).
It’s a dark side of celebrity culture that reflects a wider attitude.
To me, that shows that we have a long ways to go. I’m thinking that if someone is dealing with depression, you can’t trust that person to reach out to you in a society that doesn’t really welcome that. So, that’s what I’m hoping changes with organizations that deal with suicide prevention and depression. There’s this particular organization called To Write Love on Her Arms — this one starts in high schools, where it’s especially difficult dealing with bullying, for people discovering their sexuality. There’s so much happening in high schools. I’m really passionate about this organization, and it’s just newly come into my life.
How did you hear about this organization?
I started searching online. I never talk about this, and I can’t believe what I’m going to say right now — I know my publicist is going, “What are you talking about?” But I do have — my sister killed herself. And that is in my history. So, for me, suicide is a very important issue. If I can do anything to help someone move through any darkness that they’re in, I’m gonna do whatever I can to help. It’s so important to begin the conversation when they’re in high school, because that’s when we’re getting programmed as to what’s acceptable in society. It should be acceptable to talk about your feelings.
To know more about it, and get involved, check their website: TWLOHA.com
This past week we’ve seen several TV Spots being flooded on our timelines and below you can see the last one, which is also extended running time. The final trailer was already classified and it’s reported (but not officially confirmed) to be attached at The Gone Girl (on theaters next October 2nd). Check in our gallery additional posters and also the high quality version of the Empire released images.
Added additional adorable pictures to the portrait session Jessica and James did to USA Today while promoting The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby:
Jessica is on the cover of November issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK, featuring a large interview and a beautiful photoshoot in which she’s wearing Valentino Couture, Armani Privé and Christian Dior Couture dresses.
This year, Jessica Chastain had a birthday party. The photographs are all over her Facebook page: Chastain playing a high-stakes game of ping-pong, bellowing into a microphone mid-karaoke, blowing out candles on her birthday cake. And finally, that classic end-of-night shot, the one when you’re drunk on love for your friends and the music’s turned up loud: Chastain has an arm in the air, eyes closed, red hair flying across her face, and she looks ready to dance until sun-up.
These moments don’t happen often. It was Chastain’s first birthday party for as long as she can remember, she says now. She hates being the centre of attention, and her life, when she’s not working, is peaceful, low-key. Chastain likes routine: a walk on the beach with her dog Chaplin; green tea; yoga. Her time is not usually frittered away in bars. It’s certainly not spent in the thick of a crowd, especially a crowd who are all there for her, singing her name. ‘I hate it when people sing “Happy Birthday” to me,’ she says, still cringing. She is, she insists, shy. To be interviewed is almost liberating because it forces her to talk in a way she wouldn’t usually, especially to a stranger. ‘Probably there are some people who feel great about themselves and don’t second-guess anything they say or do or wear, but that’s just not me.’ [Read more]