Jessica Chastain isn’t concealing how uncomfortable she felt getting her makeup done to play Tammy Faye Bakker.
The “Molly’s Game” star will play the notorious televangelist in the upcoming biopic “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” and told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published Monday that putting on the “heavy” makeup Bakker was famous for in order to play the role was no highlight.
“I think for sure I’ve done some permanent damage to my skin on this,” she told the newspaper when asked how she kept her skin from breaking out. “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.”
The 44-year-old Oscar-nominated actor even joked that when she finally took off the makeup, “I was like, ‘I look 50 years old!’”
Chastain told the outlet that the longest she ever sat in the makeup chair for the film was seven and a half hours, and not only did she wear the “most prosthetics” she’s ever had for the role, but that the layers of makeup were intense as well.
“Even the bronzer and the foundation are so much darker, the lashes are thicker,” she said. “The makeup gets heavier as she gets older.”
Because of this, Chastain said her transformation into the tabloid fixture known for her signature blond bouffant and blue eyeshadow was exhausting. So much so that at first she worried that the application and wearing of the makeup would hinder her performance.
“I got to set and I was so panicky. I started to have hot flashes because it’s so heavy and hot,” she admitted. “I was afraid. It was like going on a long-distance flight every day. Because if it takes seven and a half hours to put on, it’s going to take at least two hours to get off. It was concerning to me. I was worried about my circulation. By the time I got on set that first day that was seven and a half hours, I was like, ‘I have no energy left.’ And she’s supposed to show up with so much energy.”
Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker (who will be played by Andrew Garfield), founded the Christian television program in 1974, and soon after followed that success with the PTL Television Network and Heritage USA, a Christian-themed amusement park in South Carolina.
The couple’s multimillion-dollar empire began to unravel in the 1980s, after Jim was accused of sexual assault and then indicted on numerous counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy following a federal review of PTL Television Network’s finances.
The Bakkers divorced in 1992, and Tammy Faye remarried. In 2007, she died of cancer at age 65.
And although Tammy Faye was known for her extreme makeup, Chastain said she didn’t think one should question why she wore so much of it.
“It’s nobody’s business. It makes her feel pretty. That’s enough,” Chastain said. “This is how she wants to present herself in the world. Why do we need to justify it?”
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