As the 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (running September 9–18) moves forward in hybrid form with live events in Toronto as well as virtual screenings, Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey, Co-Heads of TIFF, are adding another awards tribute to follow the already announced TIFF Ebert Director Award to Canadian auteur Denis Villeneuve (“Dune”). This year’s Actor Award goes to two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, whose performance and makeup as a notorious televangelist in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (September 17, Searchlight), is picking up Oscar buzz. Michael Showalter’s long-delayed marital dramedy will make its world premiere at TIFF.
2021 Oscar-winners Sir Anthony Hopkins (Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Father”) and Chloé Zhao (Searchlight’s “Nomadland”) and nominated composer Terence Blanchard (Netflix’s “Da 5 Bloods”) all launched their Oscar campaigns at TIFF’s second annual Tribute Awards fundraiser. The year before, TIFF’s first Awards Gala honored eventual Oscar winners Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”) and Joaquin Phoenix (“The Joker”).
In a statement, Vicente cited such notable TIFF Chastain premieres as “The Debt,” “Take Shelter,” “The Martian,” “Crimson Peak,” and “Molly’s Game,” adding, “She is one of the most respected actors of her generation. Her recent portrayal of Tammy Faye Bakker is a testament to her exceptional onscreen presence and talent.”
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” will track “the rise, fall, and redemption through the ’70s and ’80s of thick-lashed singing televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker, who rose with her husband, Jim Bakker, from a humble beginnings to create the world’s largest religious broadcasting network and theme park.” Eventually, their heavy spending and financial improprieties brought down their empire.
Chastain will next be seen opposite Oscar Isaac in HBO’s “Scenes from a Marriage,” an adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s 1970s miniseries. In 2022, she will be seen in “The 355,” an international spy thriller based on an original idea by Chastain for her production company Freckle Films. Chastain will shortly play music legend Tammy Wynette in the limited series “George & Tammy” opposite Josh Brolin.
In 2019, Chastain starred in the global hit sequel “It Chapter Two,” and, prior to that, in the X-Men franchise, “Dark Phoenix,” and Aaron Sorkin’s “Molly’s Game,” which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She has also starred in the critically acclaimed “A Most Violent Year,” “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” “Miss Julie,” “Interstellar,” and Terrence Malick’s Academy Award-nominated drama “Tree of Life,” “The Debt,” “Take Shelter,” “Zero Dark 30,” and “The Help,” for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.