Jessica Chastain didn’t have an easy life growing up, but she says that without this turbulent family life, she would never have discovered her deep love for acting.
While discussing her new role as Tammy Wynette in the upcoming six-part biopic, George & Tammy nearby Guardian, the actress opened up about her own struggles as a young woman, dropping out of school, and how she found an outlet in acting. Jessica Chastain said that while most dropouts were content to hang out “smoking or sleeping in,” she would sit in her car to read Shakespeare. She explains, “I was in high school, and there was a trip to the Shakespeare Festival in Oregon and I saw Marco Barricelli play Richard III. And… something opened in me. It was the strangest thing, that I could be so moved. I had a huge crush on this actor. »
The Oscar-winning actress continues: “I became obsessed with Shakespeare. My grandmother had just bought these decorative books – she liked the design, and these books weren’t meant to be read. They were just sitting on the shelf to look good. And one of them was the complete works of Shakespeare. I still have it. Jessica Chastain added that “it was something about the rhythm and the way it fueled the emotion” that drew her to these pieces. She also liked the characters and “got to play Juliet twice; it’s my favorite role,” she noted. “Romeo is a little weak, but Juliet says to the brother: ‘You married us, it’s your fault, and if you don’t fix it, I’m going to kill myself and it will be your fault too. Do something !” And Romeo is just a wet noodle. Something opened in me; I wanted to do this. »
“I felt like someone understood me in a different way”
When asked by the reporter what she thought finding Shakespeare at that moment was so important to her, Jessica Chastain burst into tears and replied, “I felt like someone understood me in a different way. I can get emotional talking about it. It’s like a… It’s like we don’t see you. Being seen at this age had a particular impact on the actress, as she said her family was not interested in her. She says that when she dropped out of high school to devote herself to acting, “in [sa] family, no one [l]stopped”: “No one told me: ‘you can’t be an actress’. But I’m sure they would have preferred me to fall in love with the profession of dentistry. »
She adds that if no one stopped her, it’s partly because her younger sister, Juliette, “was having a lot of difficulties, and everyone was very stressed”: “So the attention was focused on that. When I didn’t graduate, no one noticed. There wasn’t even a conversation like, “Uh, are we going to your graduation?” Nothing. In a 2014 interview with the magazine InStyle, Jessica Chastain previously shared that her sister struggled with drug addiction and depression for years before finally taking her own life in 2003. She said, “It completely changed who I am. A movie, the Oscars, a dress, if anyone thinks I’m stupid… I realized that nothing is that important. »
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Jessica Chastain explains why she dropped out of high school