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
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.
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