Jessica Chastain talks about the death of her biological dad, a musician named Michael Monasterio, during an interview with Vogue magazine. Chastain’s father died in 2012 and it’s the first time that she is addressing the media scrutiny that followed.
At the time of her father’s death, Chastain was promoting her film “Zero Dark Thirty,” and never attended the funeral. In fact, she never spoke public about it until now.
Chastain says she remained silent at the time out of respect for her stepfather, Michael Hastey. She told Vogue that no father is listed on her birth certificate and there’s “no proof of anything.” She calls Hastey “one of the greatest people” she knows and says when he came into her life it was the “first time I had felt security.”
While Chastain has risen to Hollywood acclaim in the last three years with starring roles in films like The Help and Zero Dark Thirty, also drawing accolade for her old-school Hollywood appearance, she told the magazine that she is “very shy, I feel very awkward, I don’t feel like a femme fatale at all.”
Chastain posed for the Annie Leibovitz-shot spread in designs by Alexander McQueen, Oscar de la Renta, and Alexander Wang, among others.
The feature has Chastain reinvisioned as the subject of various famous paintings by artists including Gustav Klimt, Vincent van Gogh, and Anders Zorn.
While the Vogue cover has earned Chastain a boatload of fashion credibility, it is by no means her first stylish outing. The actress’s Rapunzel-like red hair and tiny voluptuous body has earned her a beauty contract with Yves Saint Laurent and front row seats at fashion shows by Givenchy and Chanel.
Despite this, Chastain says that she “did not feel like a beautiful woman that people would kill each other for,” in her recent role as the title character in the Al Pacino film Salome, in which she plays a sexually manipulative alpha female.
The actress’s shyness seems to carry over into her professional life as well. Producers, directors, and actors that have worked with Chastain attest that she keeps to herself.
Pacino told Vogue that even after working with Chastain for nearly a year on Salome, he still doesn’t “know anything about her.”