Born Jessica Howard on March 24, 1977, in Sacramento, California, Jessica Chastain started her acting career under her mother' maiden name in many plays, including Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing. She was first discovered by ER producer John Wells while performing in an acting showcase at Julliard. He immediately liked her and signed her to a 12-month holding contract and later made her TV debut in ER (2004), followed by Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005-06). After starring in Wilde Salome with Al Pacino and Othello with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jessica was ready to take on the big-screen.
Jessica made her big-screen debut in Jolene (2008) and later landed a small role in The Debt (2010), prior to starring in the cult classic Take Shelter (2011) for which she won many awards. Her career began to gain momentum when her Wilde Salome co-star Al Pacino recommended her to director Terrence Malick for his upcoming movie Tree of Life (2011). She landed the part opposite Brad Pitt and continued to rise in Hollywood with a role in the award-winning hit The Help (2011), which resulted in an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
The star's most recent projects include, the crime drama Lawless (2012) with Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf, the drama Tar (2012) alongside James Franco, the history drama Zero Dark Thirty (2012), the horror flick Mama (2013), the drama The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His (2013) and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her (2013).