Even by Hollywood standards, it’s been a year out of the ordinary for Jessica Chastain. There are the multitude of projects that she’s had in the works, from TV shows Scenes from a Marriage, George & Tammy and crime-thriller movie The Good Nurse, to blockbusters The 355 and The Eyes of Tammy Faye, both of which she also produced. And the last garnered her first ever Best Actress wins at the SAG Awards and the Oscars. An interstellar time, to say the least.
“So many people after [the award ceremonies] were coming up to me and they could see how genuinely surprised I was,” insists Chastain while en route to the set of Mothers’ Instinct – the 1960s psychological thriller in which she stars alongside Anne Hathaway – in New York. “I’m used to just putting my head down. I’m not a very public person and I don’t really embrace fame… so to have a moment of this global recognition is so different to my everyday life.”
With a resumé that contains some of the most critically acclaimed movies of recent years (The Help, Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar) and, as one of the most recognizable names in the industry, Chastain has been resolute about keeping her personal life away from public consumption, regarding privacy as a “great luxury” of today. This hasn’t prevented her from joining social media, though – most recently TikTok, traversing wittily captioned selfies, slick getting-ready videos and some red-carpet antics. She embraces the fun side and has enlisted someone to help “push me beyond what I think I’m comfortable with,” she grins.
Even so, Chastain manages to keep a professional boundary on social media, which is necessary for platforms that encourage pervasive (yet highly filtered) access to your everyday existence. “I don’t want to publicly create a record of my personal life that then doesn’t allow itself to grow and evolve and change,” she considers. “I have a lot of empathy for people, and for teenagers, who are supposed to make mistakes – and that’s how we grow – but now there’s always going to be a record of it.”
Read the full article/interview in our press library.