Childhood & Early Life
Jessica Michelle Chastain was born on March 24, 1977 in California, the US. Her father Michael Monasterio is a rock musician. Her mother’s name is Jerri Renee Hastey. Her parents were teenagers when she was born.
Chastain was raised by her mother and stepfather. She is estranged from her biological father and his name is not on her birth certificate. She had two sisters and two brothers. One of her siblings Juliet committed suicide in 2003 after struggling with drug abuse.
She studied at the El Camino Fundamental High School in Sacramento. She developed an interest in acting after seeing the play ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.’
She made her professional stage debut in a production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (1998) where she portrayed Juliet. She was eventually accepted into the Julliard School and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2003. Her scholarship was funded by well-known actor and comedian Robin Williams.
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Jessica Chastain began her onscreen career playing guest roles in TV series such as ‘Law and Order: Trial by Jury’ and ‘Veronica Mars’. In 2004, she appeared in the play ‘The Cherry Orchard’ by Anthon Chekhov at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
In 2008, she made her film debut playing a role in the drama film ‘Jolene’ where she played the titular role. The next year, she played a supporting role in the mystery film ‘Stolen’. In 2010, she was seen in two films, ‘The Westerner’ and ‘The Debt’.
In 2011, she was seen in the psychological thriller drama film ‘Take Shelter’. Though the film was not a huge success commercially, it received critical acclaim. Her next film ‘Coriolanus,’ where she played a supporting role, was adapted from Shakespeare’s tragedy of the same name. Though it was a commercial failure, it received positive reviews.
In 2011, she played a supporting role in the period drama film ‘The Help’. The film was a huge success financially and was met with positive reviews. Chastain’s performance earned her an Oscar nomination in the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ category. The same year, she also acted in other films, including ‘The Tree of Life’, ‘Wilde Salome’ and ‘Texas Killing Fields’.
In 2012, she voiced a supporting character in ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’. The film was the third installment of the well-known Madagascar series. It was a critical and commercial success.
She next appeared in the crime drama film ‘Lawless’. She was seen in the political thriller film ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ in 2012. For her performance, she won the Golden Globe Award and earned her second Oscar nomination, both in the ‘Best Actress Category’. The film was a commercial and critical success.
She played the lead role in the 2013 supernatural horror film ‘Mama’. The film was a success financially, and received mostly positive reviews. She was next seen in ‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby’ which was met with positive reviews, though it was a commercial failure. She played the titular role in ‘Miss Julie,’ a 2014 period drama film.
She next played an important role in the epic science fiction film ‘Interstellar’ (2014) which was directed by the famed director Christopher Nolan. The film was a huge commercial success, becoming the tenth highest grossing film of the year. It was also met with positive reviews and was nominated for four Oscars, winning one.
Jessica Chastain was next seen in ‘A Most Violent Year,’ also in 2014. Though it was met with highly positive reviews, the film was a commercial failure.
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In 2015, she was a narrator of the documentary film ‘Unity’. She then starred alongside Matt Damon in the sci-fi survival film ‘The Martian’. The film was a huge financial success and was praised by the critics. It appeared in several “top ten movies” lists of the year.
She seen in the film ‘Crimson Peak’ (2015), playing a main role. The film was an average commercial success and was received favorably by the critics.
In 2016, she was seen in the fantasy adventure film ‘The Huntsman: The Winter’s War’ in a supporting role. Although it was a commercial success, it was met with negative reviews. She also played the lead role in the political thriller ‘Miss Sloane’ the same year.
In 2017, she narrated and served as the executive producer for the documentary ‘I am Jane Doe’. The same year, she was also seen in the films ‘The Zookeepers’ (also executive producer), ‘Molly’s Game’ and ‘Woman Walks Ahead’. She played the lead roles in all the three.
One of Jessica Chastain’s most important works is her role of a CIA intelligence analyst in the political thriller ‘Zero Dark Thirty’. It was directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The film was a commercial success, earning around $130 million on a $40 million budget. It was also met with positive reviews. Chastain won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and was also nominated for an Oscar in the same category.
She played a major role in the sci-fi film ‘Interstellar’, which was directed by Christopher Nolan. The film is set in a dystopian future where humanity is struggling to survive, while a group of astronauts try to find a new home. The film was made on a budget of $165 million and it earned nearly $700 million. It was met with positive reviews.
She played the role of Antonina Żabiński in the 2017 film ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’. The movie was based on the real story of a husband and wife duo that sheltered 300 Jewish people during the Holocaust. The film was an average commercial success. It won the ‘Truly Moving Picture Award’ at the Heartland Film Festival.