She’s one of the world’s most beautiful stars, so it’s hard to imagine anyone teasing Jessica Chastain about her looks.
But the 37-year-old actress says she was a “late bloomer” and “very freckly” as a girl, which made her the frequent target of schoolyard bullying.
"I was told every day at school that I was ugly. And that no one wanted to be my friend. The most cruel things," Jessica tells Glamour magazine.
Nobody’s teasing her anymore. The two-time Oscar nominee stuns on the magazine’sNovember cover and is now a champion for vulnerable teens. Recently, she’s taken up the cause with an organization called To Write Love on Her Arms, which helps people struggling with addiction, depression and self-harm.
“I found [To Write Love on Her Arms] after Robin Williams died,” she says. “They go into high schools and talk about depression and bullying and suicide. The third-highest cause of death for teenagers is suicide. It’s a really important organization.”
She adds: "If I can do anything to help young girls and to be a cheerleader for people who sometimes have low self-esteem, I want to do that."
Known for playing strong female roles, the flame-haired beauty also criticizes the lack of interesting roles for older women, making a call to arms for greater diversity in Hollywood.
"I'm really, really supportive of women in Hollywood. I love Meryl Streep. She's such an incredible actress. But I feel like she's the only one in her age group who gets those parts," the Zero Dark Thirty star says.
“Why isn't Viola Davis a lead in a film? She’s one of the greatest actresses alive. And where are the Asian actors and actresses? I'm not saying, 'We don’t want movies about men.’ I'm just saying, ‘Come on, all the men I know love women. So let's also have some stories about these women.’”