Actress Jessica Chastain studied her craft at the Julliard School in New York, before launching into her professional career. After landing a few appearances on TV shows like Veronica Mars and ER, Chastain eventually landed the title role in the 2008 independent film Jolene, and soon found herself in other prominent roles, like a Mossaad agent in the 2009 mystery The Debt, though that film didn't reach American screens unti 2011, a year in which Chastain seemes to be in every movie. In addition to playing the loving mother in Terrence Malick's Tree of Life, and playing the struggling wife of a schizophrenic in the underrated Take Shelter, and being cast as the wife to Ralph Finnes' Coriolanus, and earning good reviews for the indie drama Texas Killing Fields, Chastain played a kooky, mentally unstable Southern woman in the box office smash The Help, and earned her first Oscar nomination for her supporting work in the film. She was back in the Oscar race the very next year, this time in the Best Actress field for her work as a determined CIA agent hunting Osama Bin Laden in Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty.
Biography by Cammila Collar
- Started dancing when she was 9.
- Was inspired to go into acting when she was a little girl after she attended a play with her grandmother, who later helped her move to New York.
- A lover of Shakespeare, she chose to audition for Juilliard with a soliloquy from Romeo & Juliet. She was awarded a scholarship to the school from alumnus Robin Williams, whom she had never met.
- In 2008, won the Seattle International Film Festival's Best Actress Award for her debut film performance in Jolene.
- Starred opposite Al Pacino in a 2006 stage production of Oscar Wilde's Salome and also appeared in Pacino's drama documentary Wilde Salome (2011), which looked at his fascination with the play.