Where do you know Jessica Chastain from? Everywhere

I really make an effort to not put myself in situations where my private life becomes more interesting than my work.” – Jessica Chastain

No threat there, Ms Chastain. Your work to date has been intriguing, sublime and we are fascinated enough with that - for now. 

Chastain is one of those actors who out of nowhere suddenly seemed to be everywhere and doing everything. The Juilliard School trained actress, who was given her big break by Al Pacino in his play Wild Salome, became headline Hollywood news when she starred opposite Brad Pitt in Terrence Mallick’s Tree of Life (2011) and received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Celia in The Help

A year later she was a femme fatale in Lawless and up for another Oscar for her compelling performance in Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama Bin Laden thriller, Zero Dark Thirty. She won a Golden Globe for the role and holds the distinction of twice appearing in the top two films at the U.S. box office in one weekend (Zero Dark Thirty and Mama, 2013; The Help and The Debt, 2011).  

It seems to be a hallmark of Chastain’s to play roles that don’t define her. After her emotionally triumphant performance in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby with James McAvoy, she starred as an astrophysicist in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, a piece-of-work wife in J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year and a NASA commander in The Martian.

This year she will be everywhere again with five movies slated for release, all garnering lots of interest and each role diverse and enigmatic – just the way she likes it. She plays a real life Nazi-era heroine in The Zookeeper’s Wife, a superhuman vigilante in Painkiller Jane and in Woman Walks Ahead, she is Caroline Gelden, the 19th century white activist who stood alongside native Indian Sitting Bull in his fight against the US government. In Molly’s Game, she plays high stakes poker entrepreneur Molly Bloom, whose exclusive underground games reportedly included big Hollywood names Tobey Maguire and Matt Damon. 

Miss Sloane may well be the icing on the cake for Chastain this year. In this highly anticipated political thriller, she shines as the brilliant, merciless lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane who takes on her toughest opponent yet – America’s gun lobby. Her turn as a killer political player has critics in rapture.

Take a break, Ms Chastain - and a bow. You have earned them.

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