IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Jessica Chastain says her skin has 'permanent damage' from Tammy Faye role

The actor opens up about the lasting effects of spending hours in the makeup chair to become the infamous televangelist for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”
Jessica Chastain talks about her Tammy Faye transformation in a new interview and claims to have “done some permanent damage” to her skin.
Jessica Chastain talks about her Tammy Faye transformation in a new interview and claims to have “done some permanent damage” to her skin.Courtesy Searchlight Pictures
/ Source: TODAY

Fans have already seen Jessica Chastain’s amazing transformation into Tammy Faye Bakker in photos, promos and trailers for the upcoming biopic “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” But what they haven’t seen is the grueling process behind that movie makeover or the toll it’s taken on the star.

In a new interview, Chastain says the hours in the makeup chair were daunting and left her skin “permanently damaged.”

Jessica Chastain and the real-life Tammy Faye Bakker.Getty Images

“The longest was actually 7 ½ hours,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “I got to set and I was so panicky. I started to have hot flashes because it’s so heavy and hot. I was afraid. It was like going on a long-distance flight every day. Because if it takes 7 ½ hours to put on, it’s going to take at least two hours to get off.”

Andrew Garfield (as Jim Bakker) and Jessica Chastain (as Tammy Faye Bakker) undergo a grilling on "Nightline" in "The Eyes of Tammy Faye."20th Century Studios

It took more than cosmetics to become the mascara-loving half of the “PTL Club” televangelist team, alongside co-star Andrew Garfield as Jim Bakker. Chastain required prosthetics to alter the shape of her face, too — and even more as she played an aging Tammy Faye.

The 44-year-old explained that it left her worried about her circulation, and she felt constantly drained after the application.

Jessica Chastain disappears in the role of Tammy Faye Bakker. Daniel McFadden / 20th Century Studios

“By the time I got on set that first day that was 7 ½ hours, I was like, ‘I have no energy left,’” she said. “And she’s supposed to show up with so much energy. That was the ’90s look — the very end. That’s the most prosthetics I’ve worn. Even the bronzer and the foundation are so much darker, the lashes are thicker. The makeup gets heavier as she gets older.”

When asked how she handled it all without breakouts, she hinted at a bigger problem than pimples.

“I think for sure I’ve done some permanent damage to my skin on this,” said Chastain, who also served as a producer on the project. “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.”

She added, “I finally took it off and I was like, ‘I look 50 years old!’” But with a laugh, she admitted that was a stretch. “No, I’m kidding. But it’s fine. It’s for my art.”

Fans will get a closer look when “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” comes out Sept. 17.