The first time Jessica Chastain saw the Tammy Faye Bakker documentary “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” upon its 2000 release, she was an unknown actress for whom the idea of optioning the rights to an award-winning, Spirit-nominated film in order to produce and star in its feature adaptation was ludicrous.
“My life was very different,” she remembers, calling from Nashville, where she’s in pre-production on “George and Tammy,” an upcoming Spectrum Originals/Paramount Network limited series that will see her take on another iconic Tammy: Wynette. “Back then, I just watched films for pleasure.”
But when Chastain saw the documentary for a second time — during the press tour for 2012’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” her 13th movie, for which she received her second Academy Award nomination — her Hollywood currency was at an all-time high and Bakker seemed a welcome antithesis to the fictional, Osama-bin-Laden-hunting CIA operative she’d just portrayed. “She really was a woman who was able to look past any type of personal offense and hurt, and saw the hurt in others,” Chastain says of Bakker. “I just was really moved by that.”