Jessica Chastain Admits to Skipping School — for Shakespeare

"For the first time I felt like I really discovered a passion," the actress shared on #ActorsStudio.

Although Jessica Chastain has had starring roles in award-winning movies like The Help, A Most Violent Year, and Interstellar, she has typically been quite private about her personal life. However, when she recently sat down with James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio, the actress opened up about her humble (and introverted) beginnings.

Despite her impressive film resume, Jessica admitted to being painfully shy in a very public industry. “I’m almost having a breakdown right now,” she said when James inferred she, like many actors, is shy. “Acting for me has never been about wanting attention or wanting to be seen…it’s about connecting with another person and about the intimacy of what that is.”

While she may have played an intense CIA agent in Zero Dark Thirty, as a child she was more interested in the classics. “I cut school to read Shakespeare, and to learn about that, because for the first time I felt like I really discovered a passion—the passion of my life.” This passion led Jessica from northern California to New York City’s Juilliard School for college.

See more of Jessica Chastain with James Lipton on Inside The Actors Studio, airing Wednesday, 12/21 at 8/7c.

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Inside the Actors StudioJames Lipton Jessica Chastain

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