Jessica Chastain to Play Tammy Wynette in New Limited Series

Jessica Chastain and Tammy Wynette
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Image, Harry Langdon/Getty Images

Jessica Chastain is putting her country boots on.

The Oscar-nominated actress has signed on to play Tammy Wynette, who is considered the "First Lady of Country Music," in the new limited series George & Tammy, it was announced Thursday.

The limited series will first air on Spectrum exclusively for its cable subscribers, before premiering on Paramount Network and ViacomCBS' forthcoming streaming service.

George & Tammy will tell the story of country music's power couple, Wynette and George Jones, whose complicated relationship and marriage inspired some of the most classic country songs of all time. It is based on the book The Three of Us: Growing Up With Tammy and George, written by their daughter, Georgette Jones.

Wynette's songs often explored real-life issues including loneliness, divorce and heartbreak. Her most famous song, “Stand by Your Man,” remains one of the best-selling country singles by a female artist. One of the most influential women in music, Wynette earned 20 No. 1 songs on the country charts during her career. Her rocky marriage to Jones from 1969 to 1975 (Wynette's second marriage of five) produced duets such as “We’re Gonna Hold On,” “Golden Ring” and “Near You.”

Created by Dead to Me's Abe Sylvia, the series' executive producers include Chastain and Josh Brolin.

This marks Chastain's first foray into television in a lead role. Prior to her breakthrough roles in Take Shelter and Zero Dark Thirty, the actress had bit roles on shows like Law & Order: Trial by Jury, Journeyman and Veronica Mars. 

“I first read Abe’s feature script a few years ago and couldn’t get it out of my head -- the examination of human frailty and redemption was so unexpected, given the glitz and glamour of the subject matter,” said Katherine Pope, head of Spectrum Originals. “We all thought we knew who Tammy Wynette was, but there is so much more to her that we never saw.  Jessica brings her incredible depth of intelligence, empathy and strength to peel back all the layers of this country superstar. It’s an honor to work with this dream team -- all the producers and our partners at 101 Studios and Paramount Network -- we can’t wait to bring this incredible series to our viewers.”

“I’ve been a massive fan of George & Tammy’s iconic music since I was a kid, leading me to chase this incredible script by Abe for years,” said Keith Cox, President of ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Studios. “It’s a dream come true to have Jessica at the forefront of the complex tale behind Tammy Wynette. We are thrilled to share this series about two legends with the world on ViacomCBS' forthcoming streaming service and Paramount Network.”

“I am humbled to bring this incredible story to life with the breadth it deserves and that the Charter platforms allow,” said Sylvia. “Tammy Wynette is an American icon, and I can't think of no one better to illuminate the woman behind the legend than Jessica Chastain. After having the honor of penning The Eyes of Tammy Faye for Freckle Films and Searchlight, I so look forward to another collaboration with her. This has indeed been a passion project for Andrew, Josh and me -- and we are so grateful to our partners Katherine Pope, Keith Cox and David Glasser for tirelessly championing our labor of love.”

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