<p>Jessica Chastain reflects on childhood</p>

Jessica Chastain reflects on childhood

Jessica Chastain says people expect her to have a ‘different background’ as she opens up about poor upbringing

Actor and her siblings were raised by their single mother

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Tuesday 18 January 2022 05:10

Jessica Chastain has spoken candidly about her upbringing, with the actor admitting that she “grew up with a lot of resentment” because of her family’s struggle to make end’s meet.

The Molly’s Game star, 44, discussed her childhood, and how it differs from what people “expect,” during a new interview with The Sunday Times, where she revealed that there were times the family couldn’t afford food.

“I don’t talk about it much, but it was really, um, it was not what you would expect,” she said of her childhood, which saw her and her four siblings raised by a single mother. “When people see me, I think they expect a different background than I have.”

According to Chastain, whose husband, Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, is from an Italian noble family, the reality of her upbringing caused her to grow up with “a lot of resentment”.

“I grew up with a lot of resentment, because we didn’t have things, like even food,” she continued.

Her experience means it makes her “angry” when she sees others in similar situations, as she told the outlet that she knows “what it’s like” and doesn’t want to see others struggle.

“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,” she said.

While reflecting on her own upbringing, Chastain, who later graduated from the Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York, also noted that she wouldn’t be where she was today if it weren’t for the help she’d received from people who saw she was “struggling as a kid”.

“There were people that saw I was struggling as a kid and they helped me. And that’s why I ended up where I am now,” she explained.

This is not the first time that Chastain has opened up about her difficult poverty-stricken upbringing, as she previously told the Evening Standard that her family used to steal food.

“We stole food at the store because we didn’t have any money. And some people knew she was doing it but didn’t stop her. So there is kindness everywhere,” she said at the time.

Elsewhere in the interview with The Times, the actor acknowledged that she was the first person in her family to “not be pregnant when I was 17,” before praising Planned Parenthood for having a “great impact on my life because it gave me choice”.

Chastain, who is often private about her children, shares two daughters with her husband. The couple, who married in 2017, reportedly welcomed their first daughter in 2018 and their second child in 2020.

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