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Q&A | Oscar-nominated Jessica Chastain on 'The Eyes of Tammy Faye' and her Sacramento roots

Mark S. Allen caught up with the star before she was nominated for an Oscar in "The Eyes of Tammy Faye." She talks about the role and her love of Old Sacramento.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In the 94th Academy Awards, Sacramento will have a hometown hero to root for.

Jessica Chastain is a Capitol City native, who'll be going for the biggest award her industry has to offer. Chastain was nominated for Best Actress in "The Eyes of Tammy Faye."

She plays the lead role of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. The movie follows Faye as she tries to find redemption following her and her husband's rise and fall.

Chastain is joined by Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Kristen Stewart and Olivia Colman in the Best Actress category. For more on the nominations, click HERE.

ABC10's Mark S. Allen previously caught up with Chastain while she was promoting her movies "The Eyes of Tammy Faye" and "The 355." She and Allen discussed her experience on the movie that would eventually earn her an Oscar nod and her deep connection to Sacramento.


When it comes to Tammy Faye, what did you connect with during the movie? What did you discover?

"Everyone who met her said she was a kind soul. The people who knew her said she was so loving and generous and funny, and just so full of life. I find the critics are the people who, I think, are misinformed, who follow tabloid media, followed the drama and the media sensationalism, (and) locked her into her husband's crimes that he was charged of -- she was never charged or convicted of anything -- and ones who really never knew her."

You grew up in Sacramento, do you ever miss it?

"I miss Old Town because I loved Old Town. Is the River City Brewing Company there? That's where I used to work. The beer at the River City Brewing Company, I mean 'muah.'"

"I also did a Christmas Carol two years in a row at Sacramento Theatre Company. I played Martha, Martha Cratchit, or Mary Cratchit, I don't remember the character's name. And I used to work at the Lucky Café... so I'm all over Sacramento."

Did you ever imagine being part of an ensemble like in "The 355"?

"I mean, I could dream, a kid could dream, but I guess I loved going to the movies. I remember waiting in the longest line to go see "Death Becomes Her," and like all of these things, like when it would open, I just loved it. And the the idea of being able to do a female action ensemble with the best actresses working in Hollywood today is just, yeah, it's kind of beyond what I thought was possible." 

"I never really thought actresses -- that they could produce and create films and do all of that. So, it is really beyond what I thought was possible as a child."

Is it daunting being a movie producer?

"It's daunting sometimes, because there are times when we're on set and I'm like, 'Why aren't we shooting? Well, come on, come on, guys. Like what's taking so long?' And as an actress, you want to just kind of be in the creative process. But then, when you're like 'We're losing our day, you guys...' and that stuff is tough for me, any kind of sense of like wasted time, because I just want that camera rolling all the time. It's like getting to play over and over and over again. And so yeah, producing can be stressful."


Jessica Chastain, Oscar nominee, talks about her Sacramento roots and Tammy Faye

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