Jessica Chastain Opens Up About Debilitating Shyness: 'I'm Almost Having a Breakdown Right Now'

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Jessica Chastain isn't a fan of the spotlight. The 39-year-old actress confessed to being painfully shy during an episode of Inside the Actor's Studio on Wednesday.

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"I'm almost having a breakdown right now," Chastain told to host James Lipton after revealing that she used to cut school to read Shakespeare.

"You're still shy?" Lipton asked.

"Yes, I’m so shy," replied the Golden Globe winner.

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On the plus side, acting has become an outlet for Chastain to express herself and connect with others.

"It's a strange thing, acting for me has never been about wanting attention or wanting to be seen," explained the Northern California native. "It's funny that I’m in a profession where that's where I am."

"There's so much that I want to express," she added. "It's about connecting with another person and the intimacy of what that is, and so I have to overcome my shyness."

MORE: Jessica Chastain Says Feud With Jennifer Lawrence Is a 'Media Myth That Has to Stop'

Despite her coy disposition, Chastain doesn’t mind taking on assertive characters like the high-powered lobbyist that she plays in the new political thriller, Miss Sloane.

"Here's a woman who is over-prepared and ambitious and not perfect," Chastain told ET’s Carly Steel last month. "We're not used to women playing these characters."

Watch below for more of Chastian's ET interview.