Five Things You Don't Know About Jessica Chastain

January 21, 2013

She's nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of a tenacious CIA analyst in Zero Dark Thirty and also stars in last weekend's box office winner, Mama. Here are five things you probably don't know about Jessica Chastain.

1. Born March 24, 1977 in Sacramento, CA -- her father is a firefighter and her mother works as a vegan chef.

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2. Credits much of her success to friend/mentor Al Pacino, who originally cast her in a 2006 stage production of Oscar Wilde's Salome.

3. Studied the Israeli self-defense system Krav Maga for several months to prepare for her role in 2010's The Debt. Speaking about its brutality, she told an interviewer, "Krav Maga is how to kill your opponent in the least time possible. It's ruthless and made me feel badass."

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4. To help her gain 15 pounds for her Oscar-nominated role of Celia in The Help, she bought cartons of soy ice cream, which she would microwave and drink.

5. Owns a three-legged rescue dog named Chaplin.

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More On: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

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