Jessica Chastain (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Jessica Chastain (born March 24, 1977) is an American theater, film and television actress. She rose to prominence in 2011, starring in seven films released in that year - The Debt, The Tree of Life, The Help, Coriolanus, Take Shelter, Wilde Salome and Texas Killing Fields. For her performance in The Help, Chastain received Best Supporting Actress nominations for the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA and the Critics' Choice Award. She subsequently won a Golden Globe and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as the CIA officer Maya in the 2012 military action film, Zero Dark Thirty. In 2012, Time magazine named her one of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World".
Early life and education
Chastain was born and raised around Sonoma, California, and had a "blue collar" upbringing there. She is one of five children. Her mother is a vegan chef, and her father (one source says stepfather) is a firefighter. Chastain is also vegan herself. She grew up as Jessica Howard, and later took her mother's maiden name as her stage name.
She graduated from El Camino High School in Sacramento in 1995 and attended Sacramento City College, where she was a member of the debate team (1996-1997). In 1998, she appeared as Juliet in a production of Romeo and Juliet staged by TheatreWorks, a professional theater company in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Chastain then attended the Juilliard School in New York City as a member of the Drama Division's Group 32 (1999-2003), which also included Michael Urie and Jess Weixler. The funding making it possible for her to attend was provided through a scholarship by Robin Williams. She was an active participant in the drama department and starred in several theatrical productions and student film projects. She graduated from Juilliard with a B.F.A. degree in 2003.
Chastain's first professional role came in 2004 for The WB's TV pilot adaptation of Dark Shadows. She later appeared in such television series as ER, Veronica Mars, Close to Home, Law & Order: Trial By Jury, and the British period drama series Agatha Christie's Poirot.
In 2008, she made her film debut as the title role in Jolene, for which she received the Seattle International Film Festival Award for Best Actress. The movie was based on the short story "Jolene: A Life" by E. L. Doctorow, itself inspired by Dolly Parton's song, Jolene. It was later released in the United States on October 29, 2010.
In 2011, Chastain showed a wide variety in her roles, including: Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life and the crime thriller Texas Killing Fields. Chastain starred as Celia Foote in The Help, which was based on Kathryn Stockett's novel of the same name. The movie received positive reviews from critics and became an immediate box office hit grossing $169,620,611 in North America, and $35,700,000 in other territories, as of February 2, 2012, for a worldwide total of $205,320,611. Chastain continued to receive rave reviews for her performance in the 2011 film Take Shelter playing the wife of a small town man plagued by apocalyptic visions. In her next film role Chastain portrayed a young Mossad agent in John Madden's The Debt, which premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010. The movie was released on August 31, 2011 and Chastain received positive reviews from critics and viewers. The movie went on to become a moderate box office hit.
On November 29, 2011, Chastain was announced as New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performances in The Help, Take Shelter and The Tree of Life as well as gaining an Independent Spirit Award nomination the same day for her performance in Take Shelter. On December 1, 2011, she received a Satellite Award nomination as best supporting actress for her performance as Mrs. O'Brien in The Tree of Life, she went on to win the award and many other honors from critics including the: National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In April 2012, Chastain entered the list of Time 100 most influential people of the world.
Chastain starred as Virgilia in the adaptation Coriolanus, which was released in January 2012, the movie celebrated the directorial debut of Ralph Fiennes and was met with generally positive reviews from the critics. Chastain made her first foray into animated motion picture with the release of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. Chastain voiced the character of Gia the jaguar; Chastain employed an Italian accent for the role. The movie was released on June 8, 2012 and has received generally positive reviews from critics.
Chastain has also completed a film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's Salome alongside Al Pacino. She was featured in John Hillcoat's prohibition era drama, Lawless.
In June 2012, Chastain was named the ambassador of the new Yves Saint Laurent fragrance, called Manifesto. The fragrance was released in August 2012, Chastain stated: "Yves Saint Laurent is a brand that inspires me deeply. Since its creation, the brand has conveyed strong values that I cherish, such as an unwavering commitment, absolute love and feminine audacity. This new fragrance is an emblem of it all. I am [excited] to be part of this beautiful adventure."
She was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on June 29, 2012 along with 175 other individuals for 2012.
In 2012, she appeared in Tar as C.K. Williams' mother. She reunited with Terrence Malick in the romantic drama film To the Wonder, but her performance was later cut from the film. She will play the lead role alongside Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Andres Muschietti's horror film Mama based on Muschietti's 2008 Spanish-language short film, Mamá. In early 2012, Chastain was reported to star in two action films, Oblivion and Iron Man 3, but dropped out which she confirmed the latter in her Facebook account. Chastain was also offered for the role of Princess Diana in the upcoming biopic film Diana but dropped out and was replaced by Naomi Watts. She then starred as the lead in Kathryn Bigelow's action thriller film Zero Dark Thirty for which she received a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actress. It was announced that Chastain would play the female lead and title character in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby opposite James McAvoy. The film is about a two-part drama told from his and hers perspectives, set to hit theaters in 2013.
Chastain said this about her vegan lifestyle: "I don't want to torture anything. It's about trying to live a life where I'm not contributing to the cruelty in the world. While I am on this planet, I want everyone I meet to know that I am grateful they are here."
Chastain currently lives in NoHo, a neighborhood in Manhattan with her dog Chaplin, a three-legged rescue dog.