Jessica Chastain is an American actress and film producer who has starred in roles as diverse as aspiring socialite, CIA agent, and poker princess. She’s had several breakout roles during her long career and continues to feature in theatre, TV shows and films.
Who is Jessica Chastain?
Jessica Chastain was born in 1977 and brought up in Northern California. She started her career at a young age, becoming involved with dance and performing at Shakespeare productions around the Bay Area.
Chastain secured a TV deal with producer John Wells, which led to guest appearances in several TV shows, including ‘Law and Order: Trial by Jury’.
Although her first film debut was in 2008, Chastain didn’t really break through and gain the recognition she deserved until 2011, when she appeared in six film releases. One of these films was drama ‘The Help’, which earned Chastain her first Academy Award nomination.
In 2012, Jessica Chastain’s role as CIA agent Mia in the thriller ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ earned her a Golden Globe Award and her second Academy Award nomination, this time for Best Actress.
From here on, Chastain’s career took an upward trajectory that had her play major roles in films like the highly regarded ‘Interstellar’ and, most recently, ‘It: Chapter Two’. But it was her time as Molly Bloom in Molly’s Game that really gained her the admiration of critics and the public.
Chastain in Molly’s Game
Chastain has long been familiar with playing the role of a strong lead, but ‘Molly’s Game’ provided a different framework than the action-packed CIA agent style roles.
In Molly’s Game, directed by Aaron Sorkin, Chastain plays Molly Bloom, whose Olympic skiing career came to an early end following an unfortunate accident. Bloom found bar work to get by, but this quickly led to her hosting the hottest, richest, and at times, most dangerous poker games in LA.
Chastain would host these underground poker nights at the Viper Room. These were not your typical poker party that you might play at home with friends. Celebrities and high rolling businesspersons sat down with millions of dollars during these games.
Despite the high rolling poker, and the ensuing court cases, the film doesn’t have much else to offer in terms of action. It’s not a thriller. It relies completely on Chastain carrying the script with her effortless dialogue and sophisticated acting, a task that she carries off with ease.
In her role as Molly Bloom, Chastain proves she can put on a mesmerizing performance from start to finish. That’s not to say she didn’t have excellent support from the likes of Idris Elba and others, but without Chastain, this film could easily have flopped.
When will we next see Jessica Chastain?
There’s always a lot in the pipeline for Jessica Chastain. Viewers who are keen to see the poker princess back in action can check out the action thriller ‘Ava’ available on Netflix. In it, Chastain plays the role of elite assassin Ava Faulkner.
The film has already been released back in August on Direct TV and has received mixed reviews, with poor scores of 39/100 on Metacritic and 19% on Rotten Tomatoes. Ava has only made $3.2 million in Box Office figures so far, so this one might be worth a miss.
Other than that, Jessica Chastain will replace Michelle Williams in the upcoming HBO limited series ‘Scenes from a Marriage’, a remake of an older Swedish series, now rewritten from the perspective of a contemporary American couple who are dealing with the tribulations of life together. Chastain will also be an executive producer for the show. Production for the show began recently.
What about the 355?
In the upcoming film ‘The 355’, Jessica Chastain plays Mason “Mace” Brown, a rogue CIA agent who is tasked with recovering a top-secret weapon from mercenaries to prevent the next great global conflict.
Brown puts together a team of specialist agents from around the world, made up of a solid cast of actresses that Chastain wanted to work with: Lupita Nyong’o, Penelope Cruz, and Diane Kruger.
There’s a great story behind this film. Chastain has long been involved with encouraging women’s equality in the industry, and ‘The 355’ is the first film produced and released by her own production company, Freckle Films. She put together the cast herself, and together the actresses went to Cannes to sell the film in person.
The 355 was expected to be released in January 2021. Unfortunately, the release for the film has now been delayed by a whole calendar year, so you won’t get to see it until at least January 2022. This is likely due to the producer’s desire to see the film perform in theatres rather than just on streaming platforms.
In the meantime, no doubt Jessica Chastain will continue to work on TV shows and films. She’s not one to hang around.
We’ve got Scenes from a Marriage to look forward to, and Freckle Films will not be sitting back waiting for the release of The 355. In fact, the production company has already started work on the psychological thriller ‘Mother’s Instinct’, starring Chastain and Anne Hathaway which focuses on nature’s strongest bond.
Lots to look forward to from this actress who continues to inspire