Jessica Chastain is an American actress and film producer.
Let’s see some intriguing facts about her!
1. Jessica Michelle Chastain was born March 24, 1977 in a small town near Sonoma, California.
2. She is the daughter of Jerri Renee Hastey.
3. Her biological father is Michael Monasterio, a rock musician.
4. Her parents were both teenagers when she was born. Chastain is reluctant to publicly discuss this aspect of her childhood; she was estranged from Monasterio and has said that no father is listed on her birth certificate.
5. She has two sisters and two brothers.
6. Her sister Juliet committed suicide in 2003 following years of drug abuse.
7. She was raised in Sacramento, California, by her mother and stepfather, Michael Hastey, a fireman.
8. She considers her stepfather to be “one of the greatest people” she knows, and has said that he was the first person to make her feel secure.
9. She shares a close bond with her maternal grandmother, Marilyn, whom she credits as someone who “always believed in me”.
10. As a student at the El Camino Fundamental High School in Sacramento, Chastain struggled academically.
11. She was a loner and considered herself a misfit in school, eventually finding an outlet in the performing arts.
12. Chastain would regularly put up amateur shows with other children, and considered herself to be their “artistic director”.
13. With too many absences during her senior year in school, Chastain did not qualify for graduation, but eventually obtained an adult diploma.
14. She later attended Sacramento City College from 1996 to 1997, during which she was a member of their debate team.
15. In 1998, Chastain made her professional stage debut as Juliet in a production of Romeo and Juliet staged by TheatreWorks, a company in the San Francisco Bay Area. The production led her to audition for the Juilliard School in New York City, where she was soon accepted and granted a scholarship funded by the actor Robin Williams.
16. In her first year at the school, Chastain described herself as “a wreck of anxiety”; she constantly worried about being dropped from the program and spent most of her time reading and watching movies.
17. She later remarked that her participation in a successful production of The Seagull during her second year helped build her confidence.
18. She graduated from the school with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2003.
19. Chastain made her film debut in the drama Jolene (2008), and gained wide recognition in 2011 for starring roles in half a dozen films, including the dramas Take Shelter and The Tree of Life.
20. Her performance as an aspiring socialite in The Help earned her an Academy Award nomination. In 2012, she won a Golden Globe Award and received a second Oscar nomination for playing a CIA agent in the thriller Zero Dark Thirty.
21. Chastain made her Broadway debut in a revival of The Heiress in the same year. Her highest-grossing releases came with the science fiction films Interstellar (2014) and The Martian (2015), as she continued to draw praise for her performances in the dramas The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (2013), A Most Violent Year (2014) and Miss Sloane (2016).
22. Chastain’s accolades include two Academy Award and British Academy Film Award nominations. She is known to prepare extensively for her roles.
23. Chastain is the founder of the production company Freckle Films, which was created to promote diversity in film.
24. She is vocal about social issues such as gender and racial equality, and mental health.
25. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012.
26. Despite significant media attention, Chastain remains guarded about her personal life, and chooses not to attend red carpet events with a partner.
27. She considers herself to be a “shy” person, and describing her routine in 2011, she said, “I walk the dogs, I play the ukulele, I cook. I’m not a girl who goes to big parties”.
28. She has cited the actress Isabelle Huppert as an influence, for managing a family while also playing “out-there roles” in film.
29. In the 2000s, Chastain was in a long-term relationship with writer-director Ned Benson that ended in 2010.
30. Since 2012, she has been in a relationship with Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, an Italian executive for the French fashion brand Moncler.
31. As of 2016, she lives with Preposulo in New York City.
32. Chastain is an animal lover and has adopted a rescue dog.
33. She was a pescatarian for much of her life, but following health troubles she began practicing veganism.
34. Chastain is a feminist, and has often spoken against the discrimination faced by women and minorities in Hollywood.
35. Among other issues, she is vocal in her support for equal pay in the workplace: “I think people know, if they’re going to hire me I’m not going to just be grateful. There have been situations where I have lost movies because I’ve said, this is not a fair deal, and I’ve walked away.”
36. In 2013, Chastain lent her support to the Got Your 6 campaign, to help empower veterans of the United States Army, and in 2016, she became an advisory board member to the organization We Do It Together, which produces films and television shows to promote the empowerment of women.
37. Having suffered through the suicide of her sister, Chastain aims to create awareness on depression, saying, “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”.
38. She supports charitable organizations that promote mental health, and is involved with the non-profit organization To Write Love on Her Arms to help high-school students of alternate sexual and gender identities overcome their insecurities.
39. She was teased as a child for having red hair and freckles and now takes a stand against bullying and body shaming.