Five Things You Didn't Know About Jessica Chastain
California native, Jessica Chastain, started her professional acting career at the age of twenty-seven, with appearances in the television series "ER" and "Veronica Mars." The following year, she made her big screen debut with a small role in the movie hit "Dark Shadows."
Her breakout year, however, didn't come until six years later. In 2011, she had roles in six movies, including "Texas Killing Fields," "The Help," and "The Tree of Life." Many of her films that year garnered her nominations for several different awards, including an Oscar nomination for her role as Celia Foote in "The Help." Chastain's role as Maya in the 2012 hit "Zero Dark Thirty" is the role that cemented her place as a true Hollywood A-lister and a celebrity to watch out for in the future.
As moviegoers are more exposed to Jessica Chastain's movies, they will want to know more about who she is and what she does when she's not on screen. Here are five simple things you probably don't know about acclaimed actress Jessica Chastain:
A Passion for Animals
Jessica has a soft spot for all things furry. In fact, she loves animals so much that she has opted to lead a vegan lifestyle. When she's not on the set, one of her favorite things to do is to spend time with her three rescue dogs. Radley, a corgi-spaniel mix, and Roman, a Chihuahua mix, have lived with Chastain for some time. In 2012, she added a new rescue to the group-a three-legged white ball of fluff named Chaplin who is often seen with her on set.
She is an avid PETA supporter and was recognized by the organization in 2012 as "PETA's 2012 Sexiest Vegetarian." Animals help to lift her spirits when times are tough. When filming difficult scenes for "Zero Dark Thirty," she would exchange videos of animal rescues with fellow actress Kathryn Bigelow to keep a smile on her face.
She's a Dropout
Chastain's busy schedule has made it necessary for her to drop out of some plum roles she was given. She was originally cast as Maya Hansen in "Iron Man 3" but had to drop out before filming started due to scheduling conflicts. She also had to give up the role of Princess Diana in "Diana," as well as the role of Julia in "Oblivion."
After her most prolific year in 2011, she has toned her schedule down quite a bit, which has given her the opportunity to take her time when evaluating roles and choose those that she most wants to portray. In 2012, she only appeared in three films-"Zero Dark Thirty," "Tar," and "Lawless"-and she also did voiceover work for the hit animated film "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted."
Her Favorite Things
Jessica isn't wishy-washy when it comes to things she likes. She is adamant that her all-time favorite television series is "The Sopranos," and "The English Patient" is her favorite movie to watch. Mark Fiennes is her favorite actor, and she'll watch anything he appears in. When it comes to actresses, she considers Isabelle Huppert, Julianne Moore, and Tilda Swinton as her idols.
Chastain's Many Titles
Jessica Chastain is known for more than just her movie roles. In 2012, she was named as one of "Time" magazine's list of one hundred most influential people. The same year, lingerie giant Victoria's Secret voted her as the celebrity with the sexiest smile, and Ask Men listed her as one of the top women of the year for both 2012 and 2013.
She was the recipient of a Calvin Klein Collection award in recognition of her as an emerging star, and she was named on the Annual Independent Critics' List of most beautiful faces around the world. UK's "Stylist" magazine named her as one of the top 25 style icons of the year in 2012, and she was a runner-up for the "Esquire" sexiest woman alive title. Last but not least, Forbes recognized her as one of America's best-dressed women.
How She Prepares
When Chastain takes on a role, she doesn't mess around. She packed on the pounds for her role as Celia Foote in "The Help" by chowing down on soy ice cream after melting it in the microwave. She also studied the voice and mannerisms of author Kathryn Stockett's mother to base her character on, and she went out of her way to visit Sugar Ditch, Tennessee, to fine tune her role. For her part in "The Debt," she learned how to speak German and took up the art of Krav Maga.