Jessica Chastain Is Tammy Faye Bakker in Uncanny First Photos From 'The Eyes of Tammy Faye'
By John Boone
Not every actor who puts on a wig to play a real-life person is unrecognizable. That said: Jessica Chastain is unrecognizable as televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker in the first photos from The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Or, she is recognizable -- as Tammy Faye, somehow resurrected from the dead to star in her own biopic, because that is not Jessica Chastain.
The movie looks at the "rise, fall and redemption" of Tammy Faye, who with her husband, Jim (Andrew Garfield), created an entire religious empire in the '70s and '80s, while navigating the less-than-holy scandal and drama behind the scenes of their empire. Michael Showalter (The Big Sick) directs.
The first photos from The Eyes of Tammy Faye include a recreation of the Bakkers' infamous 1987 Nightline interview showing off Chastain's transformation in all its wigged, tanned and prosthetic-ed glory. (Garfield, meanwhile, sort of looks like Tom Hanks!)
"I found a video of her singing a song, and she turned to the camera and said, 'God loves you just the way you are,'" Chastain wrote on social. "Whatever God means to anyone. I've never been baptized. I didn't grow up within a church, but I do believe in unconditional love. We are all part of this world, part of humanity and part of grace. No matter where you come from, you are perfect, and you are fully and unconditionally loved. And that's what I hope people leave the theater knowing."
The film will span multiple decades in the lives of the Bakkers, previewed in these photos that show the progression from "Oh yeah, that's Jessica Chastain" to "WHOMST?!"
The Eyes of Tammy Faye is in theaters on Sept. 17, 2021.