May is Mental Health Month, and here are resources for those dealing with mental health issues or looking to get involved in the fight to end the stigma and provide help for those going through it. I’ll continue updating the page throughout the month.
Organizations That Help:
To Write Love on Her Arms – To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and invest directly into treatment and recovery.
Celebrity Supporters: Jessica Chastain, Jared Padalecki (Anxiety, Depression), Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Sophia Bush
Random Acts – Started by Supernatural stars Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins – At Random Acts, it’s our mission to conquer the world one random act of kindness at a time. We are here to inspire acts of kindness around the world both big and small. We provide a vast network of caring people with the encouragement and support they need to change lives for the better.
It Gets Better – The It Gets Better Project’s mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them.
Celebrity Supporters: Lady Gaga (PTSD)
The Trevor Project – The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
Celebrity Supporters: Anna Kendrick, Daniel Radcliffe, Ian Somerhalder, Lady Gaga, Matt Bomer, Rashida Jones
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In the new political thriller, Jessica Chastain takes the reins as the ferociously intelligent (fictional) Republican lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane, who ditches a high-profile job to push a bill restricting firearm sales through Congress.
“It’s not interested in lecturing anyone,” says the actress, curling up on a couch at the Four Seasons. She says Miss Sloane, which reveals the sausage-making on (and off) Capitol Hill, could just as easily have used an issue such as climate change or immigration to make its point.
“It just uses that to show an inner world of the American political system and the fundraising — what it takes to get a bill passed and how corrupt the system can be when it’s led by money,” she says.
Chastain, 39, spent pre-production Googling top female lobbyists, and walked away from a trip to Washington with a decidedly different take on Sloane, a character she presumed would wear little makeup and rotate the same wardrobe day in and out.
“It was almost naïve of me to think that, because there’s something about the way Elizabeth Sloane dresses and about some of the women that I met in D.C. where they intimidate before they even enter the room,” says the actress, whose character’s war paint is dark nail polish and crimson lipstick.
Critics are praising her performance in the movie, which has a 72% positive rating on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes. “Equally icy and savvy, Sloane has no patience for hippies, naïve Millennials or the old boys’ club, whose glass ceiling she’s pretty much pulverizing with a jackhammer any chance she gets,” wrote USA TODAY critic Brian Truitt.
Director John Madden says he initially met Chastain while directing her in 2011’s The Debt, when the actress was virtually unknown. Today, “she’s become a spokesperson for women in the industry — roles that are serious and not defined by the clichés of mother, lover or girlfriend,” he says.
The misogyny lobbed at Hillary Clinton in the presidential election is top of mind for the actress, particularly when discussing words used to describe women like Elizabeth Sloane and the Democratic nominee.
During the debates, “the criticism against Hillary was that she was overprepared. I never heard in my entire life that a man was overprepared for anything. I am overprepared in my life,” she says. “What’s wrong with being ambitious, being overprepared, being one step ahead?”
Offscreen, Chastain seems ready to recalibrate her fame. The private star has even started sharing a small slice of her personal life via Instagram, selectively posting occasional shots with her longtime boyfriend, fashion executive Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo. “Gian Luca and I have been together for such a long time, we’re in it for the long haul,” she says.
She’s also switching gears after working relentlessly, having just wrapped the Sitting Bull drama Woman Walks Ahead before beginning the Aaron Sorkin-directed Molly’s Game in Toronto.
“I’m at an interesting point in my life and in my career. A few years ago, I started to examine where I was in the world and what I was contributing to society,” says Chastain, adding that she’s ready to direct and share the spotlight.
“It becomes like you’re eating cake every day. You just want to share the cake!”
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Celebrities at the Women’s March:
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Jessica Chastain covers the Summer 2016 issue of Porter.
On gender equality: “When you have both genders represented, then you have a healthier point of view. You don’t feel a hierarchy; you don’t have anyone feeling like they are being left out or bullied or humiliated. Sometimes, being the only girl on a set, you can feel like a sexual object.”
On learning how to live within the industry: “I’ve never dated anyone famous. I had time before this happened to really watch the industry. I want to be able to have my family and have this normalcy and go see a play and not have the audience watching me watch the play.”
On dreaming about her Oscar dress: “I never dreamed what my wedding dress would look like… but I always dreamed about my Oscars dress.’
Before signing on to the fantasy action-adventure The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Jessica Chastain had one requirement: She wanted to kick some ass. When the film’s star, Chris Hemsworth, approached her about a year before filming began, “I said, ‘Listen, I really want to work with you. But please don’t send me a script if my character doesn’t kick ass. I don’t want to be the girlfriend,’” she recalls. “He was like, ‘You have no idea.’”
Clearly, her terms were met. In fact, it would be hard to even keep count of the number of foes Chastain mows down in the sequel to the 2012 hit Snow White & the Huntsman, whether she’s acting as top henchman for cold-hearted ice queen Freya (Emily Blunt), or fighting for her true love, Eric the Huntsman (Hemsworth). The actress also made a point of challenging the way heroines are perceived. “When I first arrived on set, I begged the director, Cedric [Nicolas-Troyan], for a scar on my face,” says the actress, who’s known for her red hair, fair complexion and dimpled chin. “I didn’t think the studio was going to go for it, but they did. I was so happy with it too. When you think of heroines or love interests, you think of these perfect little packages, but I think scars are really beautiful. Flaws are beautiful.”
While Chastain, 39, had to learn a slew of martial arts moves for the fierce warrior role, she already had one skill in common with her sharpshooting character: She never misses her mark. Whether playing the resolute commander of an ill-fated space mission in The Martian, an obsessive CIA operative hot on the trail of Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty, a steely Brooklyn wife in A Most Violent Year or an openhearted Southern belle in The Help, she always nails the part. Continue reading
Jessica Chastain has launched a new production company, Freckle Films, and signed a first look overhead deal with Maven Pictures, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“I’m excited to launch Freckle Films, and I can’t imagine a better production partner than Maven Pictures,” Chastain said in a press statement. “Trudie and Celine are not only both highly experienced and successful producers, but the projects they’ve created demonstrate their tenacious dedication to strong characters and compelling stories that clearly resonate with audiences. It’s an honor to work with them, as well as their company, one that mirrors many of the goals that I aspire to achieve with Freckle Films.”
Maven Pictures is owned by Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray. The two film companies have purchased the rights to two books, The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister and Life and Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagan
The Magician’s Lie tells the story of a famous female illusionist named Ada, who is suspected of killing her husband after the dead body of a man is found inside of one of her stage props. A young police officer, Virgil Fecht, manages to track down the female magician and take her into his custody. Over the course of one night, Ada must recount her life story in order to prove her innocence.
In Life and Other Near Death Experiences, Libby Miller discovers she has an aggressive form of cancer and that her husband, Tom, is secretly gay on the same day. Libby immediately drops everything in her life, including Tom, and takes a trip to Puerto Rico where she meets a man named Shiloh, who gives her a new perspective on life and getting treatment.
Chastain will serve as president of Freckle Films alongside development exec Elise Siegel.
“Trudie and I have always been great admirers of Jessica both on screen and off,” Rattray said. “Her intelligence, passion, and talent are something that so naturally align with our work and mission at Maven Pictures — showcasing female talent both in front of and behind the camera. We are immensely thrilled about the opportunity to work together for many years to come.”
Jessica Chastain is in talks to star in Woman Walks Ahead. She is also in pre-production on John Madden’s gun violence drama Miss Sloane. She recently wrapped Diane Ackerman’s novel The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story opposite Daniel Brühl and will next be seen alongside Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt in The Huntsman: Winter’s War for Universal. Chastain previously produced The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, Her, + Him along with the Weinstein Co.