Jessica Chastain. Photo: Magnus Sundholm for the HFPA.
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Jessica Chastain

Following a space detour on Mars in The Martian, a transcendental inter-galactic experience in Interstellar, and a detour in a fantasy world with The Huntsman 2, Jessica Chastain returns to Earth with the very political and ever so current Miss Sloane, directed by John Madden, which brings her fourth Golden Globe nomination (following her win for Zero Dark Thirty by Kathryn Bigelow). In Miss Sloane, for which she is nominated as Best Actress, Drama, Chastain plays top Washington lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane, whose will power and drive to win don’t stop for anything or anybody. ‘Win at all costs’ is her motto – though the cost will turn out to be higher than expected. ‘I loved the texture of the script,” said the beautiful 39-year old red-haired Californian (she was born in Sacramento on March 24, 1977. ‘It also gave me the opportunity to work again with [director] John Madden, with whom I worked in The Help, the 2010 film which launched my career. Finally, I just loved Elizabeth Sloane, with her many flaws, and as many virtues.’

Chastain’s Miss Sloane character is very authoritarian, even bossy. ‘I’m not Elizabeth Sloane, that’s a given,’ says Chastain, smiling; ‘and yet an actor must be able to find a sort of empathy with her or his character, so to understand the motivations and being able to make it believable. Elizabeth Sloane is the last bastion against corrupt politicians who try to trump lobbyists acting against their interests. Sloane is no better but surely no worse than them. We’ve got to be open minded about all our endeavors.’ Many think Miss Sloane is a feminist movie; ‘It might well be,’ says Chastain. ‘Only 10% of lobbyist are women – it’s still a men’s club. And I loved to examine that world. I met many female lobbyist in Washington while preparing for this film.’

Jessica Chastain has paid her dues: after many years of tough and rewarding work on stage while studying at the Juilliard Academy’s in New York, the actress made a big leap to the big screen in 2010 with The Help and Al Pacino’s’ Wilde Salomé, which she had also performed on stage with Pacino. She was recently also seen in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. She’s very private about her personal life; she still very close to her family and stays away from glitz and glamour.

However Jessica loves the Golden Globes and cherishes the night in 2012 when she won for Zero Dark Thirty: ‘I remember that night: I was very nervous, and yet I had a blast. It’s such an honor being recognized by people all over the world,’ she concludes. ‘Film its such a global medium, it’s the thing that pull us all together, the universal language.”