Jessica Chastain recalls being criticized for wearing a protective face mask to the 2023 Academy Awards.
The 46-year-old actor opened up about why she decided to mask up during this year’s movie awards season during a Tony nominees roundtable discussion with other stage and screen stars, including Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles, published in The Hollywood Reporter.
Chastain began starring as Nora in “A Doll’s House” on Broadway with preview performances in February, just weeks before the Oscars were held in Los Angeles. To miss performances due to contracting COVID-19 would have been “irresponsible,” she explained.
“We were testing every day on our show, and even if you had no symptoms, if you tested positive for COVID, you were out for a week — and I was meeting people at the stage door who flew in from Shanghai and flew in from all over the world. To be out of the show for a week? It just felt like it was so irresponsible,” said Chastain.
“So I was wearing the mask at the Oscars. I got quite a lot of flak for that,” she continued. “A lot of people thought I was making some political statement. I don’t know what they thought. I’m like literally — .”
Groban interjected to assure his fellow actor, “Theater people knew. We knew.”
“Well, OK, good,” responded Chastain. “I’ll tell you, the best thing is someone at the stage door gave me a mask that said, ‘I’m On Broadway.’
“But yeah, the SAG Awards, the Oscars, a lot of people were like, ‘What are you doing?!’ I just couldn’t get sick. And I didn’t. I haven’t missed a show,” added the star.
In May, she received her first Tony Award nomination for her performance in “A Doll’s House.”
The mom of two told TODAY’s Hoda Kotb last week that the Tony nomination was “a dream come true.”
“It was surprisingly emotional for me. I was very excited about it,” she said.
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