Jessica Chastain unrecognisable as she transforms into famed televangelist Tammy Faye

·3-min read
Jessica Chastain transforms into Tammy Faye (YouTube/Searchlight)
Jessica Chastain transforms into Tammy Faye (YouTube/Searchlight)

Jessica Chastain is completely unrecognisable as she transforms into troubled televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker in her latest role.

The actress, 44, is playing the lead in The Eyes Of Tammy Faye which tracks the rise and fall of the Christian’s television career with husband, Jim.

In the trailer, Chastain is seen wearing prosthetic cheeks and neck as Tammy introduces her mother to Jim (played by Andrew Garfield) for the first time.

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However, as they build an empire on televangelism throughout the 70s and 80s, Tammy is seen morphing from a country housewife into a colourful leading lady - complete with mountains of make-up to appease her adoring fans. 

Hosting The PTL Club, the Bakkers became icons of Christian value. Watch the trailer below.

The synopsis reads: “Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life.

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“However, it wasn’t long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire.”

Jessica Chastain transforms into Tammy Faye (YouTube/Searchlight)
Jessica Chastain transforms into Tammy Faye (YouTube/Searchlight)

It took Chastain four hours a day in hair and make-up to become the bright and bubbly Tammy Faye - including the prosthetics and huge eyelashes the character was known for.

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Speaking about her new role, Chastain told People magazine: “Every moment, I had something on my face. I have a dimple in my chin that she didn’t have, so we would seal that up.

“Her face was more round than mine, so I would have things on my cheeks. Their expertise just helped me so much with my confidence in playing her.”

Jim And Tammy Faye Bakker are shown talking to their television audience, Aug. 20, 1986 at their PTL Ministry in Fort Mill, S.C.  (AP Photo/Lou Krasky)
Jim And Tammy Faye Bakker are shown talking to their television audience in 1986 (AP Photo/Lou Krasky)

“The thing I loved the most about Tammy is her capacity to love,” she added. “She knew what it felt like to not feel important, and she didn’t want anyone to experience that.”

In the true story of the Bakkers, the couple created the world’s largest religious broadcasting network, complete with a theme park.

However, Jim was later charged with fraud surrounding the family business, and was revealed to have settled a rape and sexual misconduct allegation out of court using PTL funds. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Jessica Chastain attends the European Premiere of
Jessica Chastain attends the European Premiere of 'IT Chapter Two' in London (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)

The controversy eventually led to their divorce, but both continued their work as televangelists.

Tammy Faye, later Tammy Faye Messner, was praised for her work around the AIDS crisis and her support for LGBT rights in the States.

She died from cancer in 2007.

Cherry Jones, Fredric Lehne, Louis Cancelmi, Sam Jaeger, Gabriel Olds, Mark Wystrach, and Vincent D’Onofrio also star in the film.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye is released in US cinemas on 17 September.

Watch: How Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker built PTL money empire before downfall