by Zoe Stagg
“It’s a gift that I was given, and I didn’t realize it. Because what I love more than anything is the feeling of acting and the feeling of that connection you feel to the other actor. Acting for me brings connection to people.”
Give the nearest Magic 8 Ball a shake, and all sources point to this: in a few months, Jessica Chastain will be the name on every marquee, every movie poster, and quite possibly, in a few awards envelopes. She will have starred opposite Brad Pitt, Ralph Fiennes, Al Pacino, and Helen Mirren in any one of nearly a dozen movies with upcoming premieres. The inclination might be to assume she couldn’t possibly be real, that she couldn’t be down to earth, that there’s no way she could be someone you’d want to sit on a sofa and giggle with.
But she is. She’s one of those one-in-a-million people possessing an entirely enviable life, and yet so lovely, so relatable, so effervescent, you don’t want to envy her in the least. You just want to be her friend. And when “Jessica Chastain” completes the sentence, “And the Oscar goes to…”, you will want to jump around and cheer.
Jessica is humble, shy, soft spoken, quick to laugh, and entirely rooted. And though she will soon be endlessly talked up as an overnight phenom, she has been fated for this life since her grandma took her to see her first play at the age of five. Yet despite years of hard work, a Juilliard education, and an unending stream of parts, her career is still in previews. “It is really funny. I’ve been the up-and-coming newcomer for like, four years.” She laughs, a genuine peal. “Part of me wonders if people even think really I exist.”