Jessica Chastain opens up about her difficult upbringing and shows her gratitude to those who have helped her along the way.
The ‘Eyes of Tammy Faye’ star spoke candidly to The Sunday Times about how she “struggled as a child” while being raised by a single mother who gave birth to her as a teenager.
“I was the first person in my family not to be pregnant when I was 17,” Chastain told the UK publication for a profile published on Wednesday.
She said she was able to pursue his dreams because Planned Parenthood gave him access to birth control pills.
“It had a big impact on my life because it gave me a choice,” she said.
Chastain told The Times that she and her four siblings face financial hardship and sometimes her family cannot afford basic necessities.
“I have a rebellious side because I grew up with a lot of resentment, because we didn’t have anything, like even food,” she said. “I don’t talk about it a lot, but it was really, uh, it wasn’t what you would expect. When people see me, I think they expect a different journey than mine. .
Chastain also credited others for giving her opportunities she might not have had otherwise. When she caught the theater bug, for example, she was able to work at a performing arts school in exchange for tuition.
“There was no way my family could afford it,” Chastain said. “There were people who saw that I was struggling when I was a kid and they helped me. And that’s why I ended up where I am now.
Chastain is used to helping others, while remaining true to his own values and background.
In 2018, for example, one of Chastain’s Instagram followers criticize the actor for an article on being pro-choice. Chastain responded that she does indeed support reproductive rights and said “everyone has the right to make their own decision.” Chastain then noticed that the follower who criticized her was raising money on GoFundMe to afford infertility treatments, and the actor donated $2,000 to support the follower’s decision to trying to have a child.
Chastain was also quick to apologize when it was deserved.
When she received criticism in 2017 for appearing on a Los Angeles Times magazine cover that featured only white women to promote a story about female empowerment in Hollywood, Chastain admitted her mistake and called the photo a “sad look” in a tweet.
“The industry needs to become more inclusive in its storytelling,” she wrote, and asked her Twitter followers to nominate women of color who should have been honored in her place.
Read Chastain’s full profile from The Sunday Times here.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.