Though her brief time in the X-Men franchise was the shape-shifting alien Vuk, Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain has taken on an even more transformative role for Searchlight Pictures The Eyes of Tammy Faye. In the film Chastain plays the part of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker with fellow former comic book movie actor Andrew Garfield playing her husband, Jim Bakker. For those that aren’t old enough to recall, the Bakkers quickly became one of the biggest forces for religious programming on television with The PTL Television Network which all came crashing down after financial and sexual misconduct allegations became public.
Directed by Michael Showalter (The Big Sick, Wet Hot American Summer), The Eyes of Tammy Faye is written by Abe Sylvia with Chastain also serving as producer. Joining her and Garfield in the cast are Cherry Jones, Fredric Lehne, Louis Cancelmi, Sam Jaeger, Gabriel Olds, Mark Wystrach, and (yet another former superhero star) Vincent D’Onofrio. You can watch the full trailer for the film, due in theaters this September, in the player below. The official description for The Eyes of Tammy Faye from the studio reads:
“THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE is an intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker, rose from humble beginnings to create the world’s largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. However, it wasn’t long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire.”
Speaking in an interview with People for the film, Chastain opened up about how she came to appreciate learning the story of Tammy Faye separated from the collapse of the PTL Network and her marriage to Jim Bakker. She also spoke about the transformative make-up that she wears in the film, saying:
“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. [Makeup artists Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram, and Justin Raleigh’s] expertise just helped me so much with my confidence in playing her.”
The Eyes of Tammy Faye will debut in theaters on September 17, 2021.