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Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain has emerged as one of Hollywood's most sought after actors of her generation. Born and raised in Northern California, Chastain attended the Juilliard School in New York City. While there she starred in Romeo and Juliet and went on to receive glowing reviews for her performances in The Cherry Orchard, opposite Michelle Williams at Williamstown; and Richard Nelson's Rodney's Wife, opposite David Strathairn off-Broadway at Playwright's Horizons.

This year she is a lending her voice to DreamWorks Animation's MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE'S MOST WANTED, releasing on June 12th. Chastain will voice the character of Gia the Jaguar.

Chastain starred opposite Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in the drama TREE OF LIFE, written and directed by Terrence Malick for River Road Productions. The story concerns the loss of innocence as seen through the eyes of the son of the characters played by Chastain and Pitt. The film was shot in Texas in early 2008 and released in May 2011.

Chastain also starred as the female lead in Miramax's THE DEBT, alongside Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington. Chastain is an Israeli Mossad agent sent on a mission to apprehend the WWII Nazi surgeon from the concentration camp who tortured Jewish prisoners. Production took place in Budapest and Tel Aviv.

Chastain can be seen in Ami Mann's feature film, TEXAS KILLING FIELDS. This psychological thriller is based on true events that took place in a small Pennsylvania town in 1973. In this project Jessica stars alongside Sam Worthington and Chloe Moretz.

Chastain is best known for her role as Celia Foote, an insecure Southern lady constantly trying to fit in with the high society women who reject her on Dreamworks' THE HELP, adapted from the best-selling Kathryn Stockett novel. The story centers on black maids working in white households in the early 1960s in Jackson, Miss. Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer are among the cast. The film released in August 2011. Chastain can also be seen playing the character Virgilia in CORIOLANUS, a film adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy. The film, shot in Belgrade, Serbia in 2010, also stars Gerard Butler and Ralph Fiennes.

In 2009, Chastain played the role of Desmonda in the classic play Othello, opposite Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Directed by Peter Sellars, the project ran beginning in Vienna, then Germany and finishing in New York.

At the senior class Juilliard showcase, Chastain landed a coveted talent deal with Emmy award winning executive producer and writer John Wells, the show runner of E.R. and The West Wing and producer of WHITE OLEANDER. After completing a pilot for John Wells and director PJ Hogan (MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING), Chastain returned to the stage in the Los Angeles Wadsworth Theatre production of Salome, where Academy Award winners Estelle Parsons (director) and Al Pacino hand- picked her to play the title role opposite Pacino Continuing the collaboration, producer Barry Navidi commenced the film version, WILD SALOME, directed by Pacino, where they filmed behind the scenes and portions of the play's production.

Chastain's stage work in Salome received enormous critical attention and led to her landing the dynamic title role in Dan Ireland's JOLENE, opposite Rupert Friend, Frances Fisher, Dermot Mulroney and Michael Vartan. This adaptation of the E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime) short story Jolene depicts a young woman's odyssey of relationships over the course of ten years. Chastain won the Best Actress Award at the 2008 Seattle Film Festival for this role.

In 2011, Chastain received several nominations and awards for her work in THE HELP, TAKE SHELTER, TREE OF LIFE, THE DEBT, CORIOLANUS and TEXAS KILLING FIELDS. Her nominations include the LA Film Critics, BAFTA, Critics Choice, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for THE HELP.

Chastain currently lives in California.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2012.

Jessica Chastain Facts

Birth Name Jessica N. Howard
BirthdayMarch 24, 1977 (45)
BirthplaceSacremento, California, USA
Height5' 4" (1m63)  How tall is Jessica Chastain compared to you?

Selected Filmography

The Huntsman: Winter's War
The Martian
Texas Killing Fields
Crimson Peak
The Help
Take Shelter
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
Zero Dark Thirty
A Most Violent Year
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