Jessica Chastain is a fierce defender of women’s rights. From demanding funding for women’s health, to fighting for equality in the work place, the actress is always willing to advocate for girls at any given time. Most recently, she took a stand for women in Hollywood by criticizing the “disturbing” programming at the Cannes Film Festival for lack of female storytellers.
In honour of the powerful and courageous star, we’ve rounded up all the times she has been a hero to women around the world.
When she took a stand for women’s reproductive rights
The Zookeeper’s Wife star believes that every woman should have access to reproductive healthcare at facilities like Planned Parenthood. In her speech at Variety’s annual Power of Women luncheon, she explained how the organization helps girls more control over their bodies. “[It] makes it possible for a woman to have the equal opportunity of her male counterparts of having jurisdiction over her body and her life and her health,” she said.
When she declared that women should get equal pay
Like a lot of Hollywood actresses, Jessica hasn’t been paid as much as her male counterparts and thinks it time to change the discrepancy once and for all. She told Variety in 2016 that the wage gap is “completely unfair and not right,” and further encouraged women to “step forward and demand they’re fairly compensated for their work.”
When she founded her own female-driven production company
Jessica wants women to have more opportunities the entertainment industry, which is why she launched her own all-female production company in 2016 called Freckle Films. Its mission is to nurture, support and create content around female stories and storytellers.
When she joined the march for equality
Jessica doesn’t just talk the talk but she can walk the walk. The two-time Oscar nominee joined the Women’s March in D.C. in January to let the world know that women’s voices deserve to be heard.
When she said a woman is more than just pretty face
The 40-year-old star told Refinery29 that a woman’s worth should be based on her mind, not her gender. "A woman should be comfortable and understand that her value is from her talent and intelligence, and not from her sex,” she said to the publication.
When she celebrates the work of her colleagues
Scarlett Johansson, Viola Davis and Shailene Woodley are only a few of the actresses who Jessica has publicly demanded to see more of. Speaking to Vulture, the actress delivered the following message to Marvel: Where is the Scarlett Johansson superhero movie? I don't understand it, why is it taking so long for this? She shows that she kicks ass, she's a great actress … To me, it's a no-brainer. You want to make money, put Scarlett Johansson in a superhero movie!”