Jessica Chastain is an American actress and producer. Jessica Chastain’s net worth is $50 million. Chastain has more than 50 acting credits to her name, including the films “The Help” (2011), “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012), “Mama” (2013), “Interstellar” (2014), “Crimson Peak” (2015), and “It Chapter Two” (2019). Jessica made her Broadway debut in a 2012 Walter Kerr Theatre production of the Ruth and Augustus Goetz drama “The Heiress,” and she has also appeared in “The Cherry Orchard” at the Williamstown Theatre Festival (2004), “Salome” at the Wadsworth Theatre (2006), and “Othello” at The Public Theatre (2009).
Chastain’s performance in her film debut, 2008’s “Jolene,” earned her a Best Actress award at the Seattle International Film Festival, but it is her work in the 2011 films “The Tree of Life,” “The Help,” “Take Shelter,” “Texas Killing Fields,” and “Coriolanus” that have won her the most accolades. She has been nominated for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress honors at every major film festival for those five films, and “The Help” earned Jessica her first Academy Award nomination.
Chastain launched the production company Freckle Films in 2016, and she has produced several of her films, such as “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” (2013), “The Zookeeper’s Wife” (2017), and “Ava” (2020) as well as the 2017 documentary “I am Jane Doe,” which was named Best Documentary Feature at the Hollywood Film Festival.
Jessica Chastain was born Jessica Michelle Chastain on March 24, 1977, in Sacramento, California. Her parents, Jerri Renee Hastey and Michael Monasterio (a musician), were teenagers when Jessica was born. Monasterio, who passed away in 2013, is not listed on Chastain’s birth certificate, and she was estranged from him. Jerri, a vegan chef, later married firefighter Michael Hastey, and Jessica grew up with two sisters and two brothers; sadly, her younger sister Juliet died by suicide in 2003. Chastain became interested in acting at age 7 after attending a production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with her grandmother.
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Jessica attended El Camino Fundamental High School, but she did not qualify for graduation because she had too many absences; she later earned an adult diploma. As a teenager, Chastain attended the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and she stated of her high school experience, “I hated being in classes — I felt like I wasn’t learning anything — so I would sit in my car and read ‘As You Like It.'”
From 1996 to 1997, Jessica attended Sacramento City College, where she joined the debate team, then she transferred to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, graduating in 1998. That year she also appeared in her first professional play as Juliet in a TheatreWorks’ production of “Romeo and Juliet,” which led to Chastain auditioning for the Juilliard School. She received a scholarship that was funded by Robin Williams and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2003.
Before she graduated from Juilliard, television producer John Wells signed Jessica to a talent holding deal at a Los Angles event for final-year students, and after earning her degree, she moved to L.A. Chastain made her TV debut in the pilot of a 2004 remake of the 1960s series “Dark Shadows,” but the show wasn’t picked up. That year she also guest-starred on “ER” and “Veronica Mars,” followed by “Law & Order: Trial by Jury” (2005–2006), “Close to Home” (2006), “‘Til Death” (2007), and “Journeyman” (2007). In 2006, Jessica appeared in the TV movie “Blackbeard: Terror at Sea,” and in 2008, she played the title role in the drama “Jolene.”
She then appeared in the 2009 film “Stolen” and starred in and co-produced the 2010 short film “The Westerner.” Chastain co-starred with Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, and Tom Wilkinson in the 2010 thriller “The Debt,” and in 2011, she starred in “The Help” alongside Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Allison Janney, and Bryce Dallas Howard. The film earned numerous awards and brought in $216.6 million at the box office. In 2012, she voiced Gia the jaguar in “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” a massive hit with a worldwide gross of $746.9 million, and she starred in “The Color of Time,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” and “Lawless.” “Zero Dark Thirty” earned Jessica many accolades, including a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.
In 2013, Chastain starred in the supernatural horror film “Mama” and the drama “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” and the following year, she portrayed the title role in “Miss Julie,” received critical acclaim for her performance in “A Most Violent Year,” and co-starred with Matthew McConaughey in the hit science-fiction film “Interstellar,” which grossed $701.8 million at the box office. Jessica had another hit in 2015, the science-fiction film “The Martian,” which earned $630.2 million worldwide, and she also starred in “Crimson Peak” and narrated the documentary “Unity” that year. She then starred in 2016’s “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” and “Miss Sloane” and 2017’s “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” “Molly’s Game,” and “Woman Walks Ahead.” In 2018, Chastain hosted “Saturday Night Live” and appeared in the documentary “This Changes Everything,” and in 2019, she played evil alien Vuk in “Dark Phoenix,” the twelfth film in the “X-Men” franchise. She took on the work of Stephen King in 2019’s “It Chapter Two,” playing the adult version of Beverly Marsh, and for one of the horror film’s scenes, she had to be covered in 4,500 gallons of fake blood. In 2020, she played an assassin in the action film “Ava,” and it was announced that she had been cast as Tammy Wynette in the limited series “George & Tammy.”
A lifelong animal lover, Jessica was pescatarian for many years before becoming a fully-practicing vegan. Chastain’s veganism led her to make an early investment in the plant-based food company Beyond Meat, which would famously have one of the most-successful IPOs of 2019. Jessica has also appeared in advertisements for the company.
She has endorsed several products, most notably the Woman by Ralph Lauren perfume and Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto perfume. In 2020, it was announced that Chastain was an investor in the forthcoming National Women’s Soccer team Angel City Football Club.
Jessica dated writer-director Ned Benson for four years, and after they split up in 2010, she began a relationship with Italian count Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo in 2012. The couple married on June 10, 2017, and they welcomed daughter Giulietta via a surrogate in 2018, followed by a second child in 2020. Chastain is a feminist, and in 2015, she wrote an essay about gender imbalance in the film industry for “The Hollywood Reporter.”
In 2018, she worked with 300 other women in the industry to establish the “Time’s Up” initiative to protect women from sexual harassment in the workplace. Jessica has supported the Got Your 6 campaign to “connect Americans with veterans and military families in order to build relationships that will aid transition to civilian life, foster leadership, and reinvigorate American communities,” and in 2016, she joined the advisory board of We Do It Together, which is dedicated to promoting women’s empowerment through film and television. Chastain has been involved with several charities, such as Dramatic Need, To Write Love on Her Arms, and Planned Parenthood, and in 2019, she refused to work in states with strict abortion laws.
Awards and Nominations
Chastain has won more than 80 awards for her work, and she received Academy Award nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for “The Help” and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for “Zero Dark Thirty.” She won a Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for Best Supporting Actress for “Crimson Peak,” and the film also earned her a “Fangoria” Chainsaw Award. Jessica has received four awards from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists: Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry for “The Help,” “Take Shelter,” “The Tree of Life,” and “The Debt” and Unforgettable Moment, Female Icon of the Year, and Best Actress for “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Chastain has earned five Golden Globes nominations, winning Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for “Zero Dark Thirty,” and she was named Female Star of the Year at CinemaCon in 2017.
Jessica was named Best Supporting Actress – International Competition for “The Tree of Life” at the 2012 CinEuphoria Awards, and “Mama” earned her an International Fantasy Film Award for Best Actress at the 2013 Fantasporto film festival. The Deauville Film Festival presented her with a New Hollywood Award in 2011 and a Deauville Talent Award in 2014, and at the “Elle” Women in Hollywood Awards, she received the Spotlight Award in 2010 and was named Woman of the Year in 2017.
Chastain won National Board of Review Awards for “Zero Dark Thirty” (Best Actress) and “A Most Violent Year” (Best Supporting Actress), and the cast of “The Help” won the award for Best Acting by an Ensemble. Jessica and her “The Help” co-stars also won ensemble awards from the Awards Circuit Community Awards, Black Film Critics Circle Awards, Gold Derby Awards, Hollywood Film Awards, Nevada Film Critics Society, Satellite Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards, and Women Film Critics Circle Awards.
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In May 2019, Jessica spent $8.875 million to acquire a townhouse in New York City. The 6,600 square foot, seven-bedroom home had been on the market for over two years and was originally seeking $11.5 million. She owns a different New York City apartment that was purchased in 2015 for $5.1 million, and she also owns a house in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.
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