Creator: Jessica Chastain

If you had asked who Jessica Chastain was in 2010, cinephiles would have had no ready answer. If you asked the same question in 2012, the results would be very different. The intervening year saw no less than seven films featuring her, and transformed her into the personification of the breakout actress, and invited comparisons to both Kate Winslet and a young Meryl Streep among reviewers and filmgoers.

Previously, Chastain had laboured for years in minor parts on television and in theatre, before working with Al Pacino in a stage performance of Oscar Wilde's Salomé, where she played the title character. More roles followed, and due to a number of release delays, Chastain ended up having a very busy 2011 indeed, to the point where critics were split over which of her many performances was most deserving of recognition. The ultimate winner was The Help, the one that had made the most money, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She netted her second Academy Award nomination the very next year, this time for Best Leading Actress for her starring role in Zero Dark Thirty.

Notable films of Jessica Chastain:

She provides examples of:

  • Billing Displacement: On the receiving end twice in 2011:
    • Although she has much, much more screen time in The Tree of Life than Sean Penn (who only appears for about five minutes total in the 139-minute movie) she's billed third, after Penn and top-billed Brad Pitt.
    • She also has third billing in The Debt, after Helen Mirren (Chastain and Mirren play the same character in different time periods) and Sam Worthington - but has the most screen time in the movie.
  • Breakout Role: The Tree of Life and The Help earned her acclaim for bigger and smaller audiences.
  • Cute Bookworm: She defines herself as a Bookworm in various of her social network accounts.
  • Dawson Casting: As the 16-year-old Salomé in Salomé/Wilde Salomé and as the title character in Jolene (who goes from 15 to 25 in the course of the story). She was in her very early 30s at the time.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: She has been seen as a blonde (The Help, A Most Violent Year) and a brunette (Crimson Peak).
  • Fake Nationality: Judean (as Salome in Salomé), Israeli (as Rachel in The Debt), Italian (Virgilia in Coriolanus and Gia in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted), Irish (as Miss Julie) and English (as Lady Lucille Sharpe in Crimson Peak).
  • Fanservice: As called for in the plot of Salomé with her Three Minutes of Writhing (and more). See also Jolene, Lawless, and some of her photoshoots.
    "(W)hen someone tells me I'm a sex symbol I'm like, "what?" But I'll take what I can get."
  • Fiery Redhead
  • Friend to All Living Things: There are numerous photos of her interacting with all sort of animals in a very friendly way like turtle hatchlings in the beach and elephants. Not to mention she is very fond to her adopted three-legged pooch Chaplin.
  • Identical Stranger: Czech actress Anna Geislerova is this.
  • Platonic Life Partners: With Oscar Isaac, whom she became close friends with when they studied at Julliard.
  • Protagonist Title: At least four of her movies have her character's name in the movie title. Miss Julie, Eleanor Rigby, Salomé, Jolene...
  • The Shelf of Movie Languishment: Wilde Salomé, a documentary about the filming of Al Pacino's version of Oscar Wilde's Salomé (which was done as a filmed play, as it were), was actually her first film - it was shot in 2008, but not released until 2011 (and the actual film of the play wasn't released for a couple years more).