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.
“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.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies