“Extra’s” Terri Seymour caught up with Jessica Chastain after she won at the 2022 SAG Awards.
Chastain admitted she was “shocked” to beat out Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”), Lady Gaga (“House of Gucci”), Jennifer Hudson (“Respect”), and Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”) for the coveted Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role award for her work on “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”
She pointed out, “The actresses in that category, I was like, ‘This isn’t gonna happen.’ I was, like, drinking the champagne and we were laughing at the table so when it happened, I was like, ‘Oh, my God. Oh, my God. What am I gonna do?’”
Of her win, she said, “It’s amazing.”
Chastain said she had wanted to tell the story of Tammy Faye Bakker “for so long,” getting the rights in 2012. She went on, “I studied her for seven years before we ever got on set, so to be recognized for that is just, I don’t even understand it… I really can’t even wrap my head around it.”
As for why she wanted to tell the former televangelist’s story, Jessica explained, “I grew up in a time where she was, like, mocked for the way she looked, like, for her mascara… As a kid, I kind of saw her as an example of what not to be as a woman. No matter what, I don’t want to be like her because, like, everyone’s making fun of her. And then when I saw the documentary, I saw, you know, the incredible things she did, the radical acts of love she did for those who had been cast out of society, and how she really, like, went against the conservative evangelical community and how brave she was. I wanted to celebrate that.”
Chastain said it was “deeply meaningful” to be praised for making a film that does not profit off of trauma.
Jessica also credited her “fellow actors” for motivating her to keep pushing in Hollywood. Opening up about her friendships, she explained, “Even tonight, Jeremy Strong and Oscar Isaac, we’ve known each other since before any of us could get hired, you know? We would talk about auditions together. I mean, Oscar showed me his audition for ‘Inside Llewyn Davis.’ We had dinner one night and I said, ‘You’re going to get that part.’”
She emphasized, “We are an artistic family and it’s international. I have friends all over the world, which is also really complicated with what’s happening right now.”
Seemingly referencing the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine invasion, Chastain said, “To not acknowledge the people who are really struggling, you know, to keep safety in their homes and their artistic freedom and the freedom of their families is… it’s devastating because we all are all so connected.”
Chastain isn’t going to be partying too much, since he has to get on a plane and go back to work on the set of “George and Tammy” on Monday morning.
She joked about her co-stars Michael Shannon and Steven Zahn, “They’ve got their lines memorized, they’re ready to go tomorrow morning, so I better show up prepared because I’m working with, like, great, great actors.”
Jessica is celebrating by drinking “a bottle of champagne” on the plane.