Jessica Chastain Says Tammy Faye Movie Makeup Damaged Her Skin
Jessica Chastain believes that the makeup used for her physical transformation for The Eyes of Tammy Faye has caused permanent damage to her skin. The upcoming biopic follows the rise and fall of controversial televangelists Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker. The husband-and-wife team was known for launching The PTL Club, a Christian news program that developed a massive following during the 1970s and 1980s. Charges of fraud and sexual misconduct against Jim Bakker ultimately led to the couple’s downfall and subsequent divorce. The movie, which is set to hit theaters on September 12, also stars Andrew Garfield as Tammy Faye’s embattled preacher husband.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye will see Chastain portray the religious personality, who was known for an eccentric fashion style characterized by her heavy makeup. In the aftermath of her former husband’s legal battles, Faye remained dedicated to her ministry. She often spoke about love and acceptance, ultimately becoming an advocate for the LGBTQ community before her death in 2007. Chastain, who has starred in several critically-acclaimed dramas including Interstellar and Zero Dark Thirty, has said that Tammy Faye proved to be her most nerve-wracking role so far.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Chastain revealed that the process needed to make her look like Tammy may have left her with permanent skin damage. Chastain recounted that her makeup sessions prior to filming were tedious, taking four hours on average, with the longest one lasting over seven hours. The 44-year-old actress explained that being in the makeup chair for such long periods of time was an intense experience, and that she occasionally experienced hot flashes and felt panicked. According to Chastain, it is the most prosthetics she’s ever worn for a role, and all that heavy makeup has likely caused some lasting effects on her skin.
“I think for sure I’ve done some permanent damage to my skin on this. Listen, I eat very pure and I take very good care of my skin and I stay out of the sun and all that stuff. But it’s heavy. And when you’re wearing it all day every day — the weight of it on your body, it stretches your skin out. I finally took it off and I was like, “I look 50 years old!” (Laughs.) No, I’m kidding. But it’s fine. It’s for my art.”
The trailer for The Eyes of Tammy Faye shows Chastain’s amazing transformation as the charismatic televangelist. But more than Faye’s signature blonde wig, blue eyeshadow, and heavy mascara, Chastain wanted her performance to focus on bringing out her character’s emotions. Aside from the striking physical resemblance, Chastain also channeled Faye’s high-pitched voice and even sings in the film. The role is one that that she has been heavily invested in since 2012 after seeing the Bakkers’ biographical documentary of the same title. Chastain also serves as one of the film’s producers.
There’s no doubt that Chastain will deliver another solid performance in the upcoming film. The two-time Oscar-nominee has been known to fully immerse herself in difficult roles, such as her characters in 2011’s The Help and her most recent action thriller, Ava. Her hard work is sure to pay off once the biographical movie debuts in theaters. While biopics are often ambitious projects, many have earned their first Academy Award for Best Actress by portraying real-life characters (from Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line, to Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich and Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side). It may be too early to tell, but The Eyes of Tammy Faye certainly seems like it puts Chastain in a good position to earn herself more accolades come awards season.
Source: LA Times