Jessica Chastain is featured as a LA Times Magazine Scene Stealer.
Between the red hair and those girl-next-door good looks, Chastain hails more from the Nicole Kidman School of Sexy than the Jennifer Lopez Bombshell Academy. Sure, she can do the retro-glam thing (you no doubt saw her as curvy newcomer Celia Foote in The Help or the graceful wife of Brad Pitt in Tree of Life), but at her core, this copperhead is all steel. Check out her slate: She settles old scores as a young Mossad agent in The Debt—out now—spells doom for John the Baptist as the titular beauty in Al Pacino’s much anticipated Wilde Salome and, in the just-wrapped Wettest County in the World, rubs shoulders with a bootlegging gang in the Depression-era South. “You know,” Chastain mulls, “over the past four years, I’ve made 11 films, and I always approach things with the idea of, Who’s going to be my teacher on this set? What am I gonna learn? I never think about how much money I’m going to make or if a movie is going to make me famous. I just think, How is this a master class for me right now?”