Oscar Actors: Chastain, Jessica–Acting Style, Versatility

Acting Style

Describing Chastain’s off-screen persona, Roy Porter of InStyle magazine wrote in 2015 that “she’s an adult, which isn’t always a given in Hollywood.

Unconsciously candid with her answers, she retains a sense of perspective uncommon among her peers, and she has real opinions.” Porter also credited her for being the rare actress who is “all about the craft.”

Chastain “the most sensitive and empathetic actor” she has interviewed.

Chastain specializes in portraying emotionally grueling roles and is drawn to parts of strong but flawed women. A theme of characters is to “subvert gender expectations in some way.”

David Ehrlich of IndieWire credits her for being the sole American actress to consistently play roles that “champion feminist ideals.”

She believes in extensive preparations for a role: “I fill myself up with as much history of the character as I can.”

Chastain’s versatility, going out of her way for avoiding typecasting.

Guillermo del Toro, who directed Chastain in Crimson Peak, said she is “interested in being chameleonic”, and that she brings authenticity even to bizarre situations.

Sophie Heawood of The Guardian believes that Chastain’s ability to bring very little ego to her roles renders her unrecognizable to the audience.

Sarah Karmali of Harper’s Bazaar opines that “she goes for total immersion, sinking so deep into character that her face seems to change shape with each one.”

Lea Goldman of Marie Claire has compared her craft to that of Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett, for valuing her craft over her looks.

Ben Dickinson of Elle wrote: With her often haunted-looking eyes, pale complexion, and gorgeous red mane […] she can project everything from icy hauteur (The Martian, Miss Sloane) to loving warmth (The Tree of Life, The Zookeeper’s Wife) or an unstable equilibrium and high intelligence in between (Zero Dark Thirty and A Most Violent Year).

Tom Shone describes Chastain as being “excessively luscious with pale Botticelli features wrapped around a bone structure that has a touch of the masculine, right down to the cleft in her chin.”

She was named the sexiest vegetarian actress in a poll conducted by PETA in 2012.

From 2012 to 2014, she was featured in AskMen’s listing of the most desirable women, and in 2015, Glamour magazine ranked her as one of the best-dressed women.

Time magazine named Chastain one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012. That same year, she was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

She endorsed an Yves Saint Laurent fragrance called Manifesto.

In 2015, she became the global ambassador for the Swiss jewelry and watchmaking company Piaget.

In 2017, she was made the face of Ralph Lauren’s fragrance campaign, named Woman. For the latter, she led initiative called Lead Like A Woman, and featured in a short film named Leading with Intensity (2019) made by an all-female cast and crew.