Golden Globe-winning actress Jessica Chastain has opened up about her upbringing in a poverty-stricken home with a single mother who struggled to feed her five kids – admitting that she ‘grew up with a lot of resentment’ because of their difficult circumstances.
The actress, 44, who married into an Italian noble family in 2017 when she tied the knot with her husband Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, shared details about her childhood in a new interview, in which she admitted that many people ‘expect’ her to have been brought up in the same privileged position that she now holds.
She told The Sunday Times: ‘I don’t talk about it much, but it was really, um, it was not what you would expect. When people see me, I think they expect a different background than I have.’
She added: ‘I grew up with a lot of resentment, because we didn’t have things, like even food.’
But while Chastain – who earns multi-million dollar paychecks for her movie roles – now enjoys a life of wealth and fame, she says that she still gets ‘angry’ thinking about the fact that there are still people struggling to make ends meet, just as she did during her childhood.
Tragic: Jessica Chastain has admitted she ‘grew up with a lot of resentment’ due to her family’s poverty, which saw her single mother struggle to feed her five children
Throwback: The California native went on to reveal that she’s the first person in her family ‘not be pregnant when she was 17’, claiming it ‘gave her a choice’ that those before her didn’t have
Looking back: Chastain, now 44, was raised by a single mother of five, who struggled to make ends meet during the actress’s childhood (Chastain is pictured as a child with her mother)
‘So because I come from that place, I know what it’s like,’ she explained. ‘And it makes me angry. And I don’t [want] anyone else to be denied anything. In terms of a voice, being seen, being acknowledged and valued.’
Chastain recently made headlines after it was revealed that she fought for her fellow female co-stars on latest movie The 355, which also features the likes of Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbing, to all earn equal pay.
Her determination to speak out on behalf of her fellow leading ladies was sparked by the support she received throughout her childhood, when she attended a local performing arts school in California – something she was only able to do with the help of people ‘who saw she was struggling’.
According to the actress, who now has two children of her own with her husband, her family was unable to afford the tuition for the school, however staff allowed her to work there so that she could pay her way.
‘There were people that saw I was struggling as a kid and they helped me,’ she said. ‘And that’s why I ended up where I am now.’
Following her stint at the local arts school, Chastain went on to land a spot at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City, which she was able to pay for with the help of scholarship, which was funded by the late actor Robin Williams.
Loved up: The actress, 44, who has since gone on to marry into an Italian noble family through her husband Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, revealed she believes others expect her to have come from a different background (pictured in 2019)
Annoyed: She said: ‘So because I come from that place, I know what it’s like. And it makes me angry. And I don’t [want] anyone else to be denied anything. In terms of a voice, being seen, being acknowledged and valued’
The actress attended a local performing arts school in California, before landing a scholarship to Juilliard in Manhattan (pictured far right while attending the school)
The Sacramento native went on to reveal that she is the first person in her family ‘not be pregnant when she was 17’, claiming it ‘gave her a choice’ that those before her didn’t have.
The mother-of-two, who welcomed her first child aged 41, also questioned why there aren’t set ups on film shoots where people can bring their little ones – adding that she admired Chris Hemsworth for missing his kids while filming The Huntsman.
She said: ‘Right now, as a society, I don’t believe we value fathers as much as we should. I think we have to understand that — and this is tough as a woman to say this — the father relationship is just as important as the mother relationship.’
It comes after Jessica revealed she suffered a terrifying accident on the set of her new movie The 355.
Speaking to James Corden on The Late Late Show, the actress recalled how she hit her head on a marble floor after insisting on doing one of the stunts herself in the spy action movie.
Appearing on the chat show alongside her co-star Penelope Cruz, she said the cast and crew had to persuade her to go to hospital after she ‘heard a crack.’
During filming for a fight scene, Jessica said that she had to fall and hit her head on purpose but had misjudged the distance to the marble floor.
Wow: A graduate from the private Juilliard School of performing arts, the Golden Globe winner worked there in return for her education, which her family never could have afforded, she claimed
Uh-oh: Speaking to James Corden on The Late Late Show, Chastain recalled how she hit her head on a marble floor after insisting on doing a stunts herself in spy action movie The 355
She terrifyingly recalled: ‘I heard a crack. Yeah, that may be why I am the way I am today. I heard a crack. Everyone stopped and looked scared and I was a bit stunned like “I don’t know what’s happening.”‘
A miscommunication from her stunt double didn’t help matters. ‘My stunt double comes up to me. She was so sweet. She is French and doesn’t speak a lot of English,’ the actress explained.
‘And she comes up to me and goes, “I’m sorry but I have to put it back in.” And I’m sitting there like ‘put what back in? Are my brains outside of my face? What’s happening?’
‘And I guess it was just a bruise she was pushing back in my head. I did a couple more takes because I don’t give up easy, and then I went to the hospital.’
Speaking some more about their movie, Jessica, who produced the project, said she had the idea to make it the action/thriller spy movie with all women because she hadn’t seen it done before.
She said she called all the women, raised the money for it themselves and made the movie for a fraction of the normal cost.
‘And we are the owners of the film,’ she said. Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbing star alongside Jessica and Penelope as a a group of international spies who must come together to stop a terrorist organization from starting World War III in the movie.