Jessica Chastain proves that good things come to those who wait. She was well-known as an actress in the theater but didn’t appear in her first film until age 31. Since that first film, she’s starred in a string of critically acclaimed movies earning her a Golden Globe, two Oscar nominations, and fame.
Seeing Chastain on the covers of magazines in beautiful clothes with her flawless skin and carefully coiffed red hair it’s easy to think that she’s always been this put together and popular, but growing up was hard for her. She was born to a teen mom who had her when she was 17, the same age her grandmother had her mother. She grew up poor and was bullied and didn’t have many friends until she found theater and her purpose.
Chastain is an active champion of gender and ethnic equality.She sees the role she chooses as part of her purpose. She’s best known for playing strong women in Zero Dark Thirty, The Help, The Tree of Life, and opening in March in The Zookeeper’s Wife, she’ll play Antonina Żabińska, who with her husband saved hundreds of Jews by hiding them in stalls and cages in the Warsaw Zoo. In Elle magazine, she said, “I’m excited to find characters that challenge the status quo of how we imagine women are supposed to be.” Chastain is an active champion of gender and ethnic equality. Last year, she founded Freckle Films, a production company, partly with the goal of addressing Hollywood’s gender inequality.
The 40-year-old Jessica Chastain has been in a long-term relationship Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, an Italian fashion executive. But in People magazine, when asked about plans for marriage said, “I’m not quite sure of what I want in my life, and who knows if marriage is part of it,” she says, “so to me marriage is not an important thing.” The self-described late bloomer, in her personal and professional life, is not afraid to bloom at her own pace.