Jessica Chastain has signed on to play Tammy Faye Bakker for the upcoming movie telling the story of her life with televangelist Jim Bakker during the 1970s and 1980s. The Eyes of Tammy Faye is already promising that there will be “revelations” about her life, enticing fans to learn more about the iconic woman, but the trailer brings even more promises for the performances and story in the upcoming movie. Today, we’re getting a first look at Chastain in character in the brand new trailer.
Watch the Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield trailer for The Eyes of Tammy Faye below.
One of the most impressive parts of what we see in this trailer is how Jessica Chastain’s look changes throughout the movie. Tammy Faye Bakker’s look changed over the years. It changed in big ways. In none of her looks does she ever look like how we traditionally have seen Jessica Chastain, whose hair is typically bright red. Before Tammy Faye became a personality on television, her makeup was a lot more subtle. Her hair was brown. And she has a jaw that’s a lot wider and more square than Chastain’s.
With her new look, right away, Jessica Chastain is barely recognizable. As the trailer progresses over the years, her look becomes bigger, bolder, and blonder. Just in this brief trailer, they’ve shown us that they’ve managed to make Chastain look the part over the years of Tammy Faye’s life, and that’s bound to give audiences a lot more confidence in the film.
The trailer is also making another big promise: The Eyes of Tammy Faye is going to be funny. The movie is just listed as a biography and drama, but the trailer is highlighting a particular sense of humor. The delivery here by Jessica Chastain is pretty great. There’s an exchange here between her and Jim, where he very dramatically says, “The devil’s coming for me, Tammy,” and she tiredly replies, “Can we talk about Satan later, Jim?”. That could have worked or not, entirely depending on how she played it. We saw a similar sense of humor earlier in the trailer, when Tammy Faye’s mother tiredly asked what she was up to this time.
Playing a character based on a real-life person is always going to be a big decision for any actor. It’s particularly a big deal when the character is based on someone audiences know well. Tammy Faye Bakker was seen on television screens throughout the 1970s and 1980s. She’s referenced in television shows, movies, and cultural conversations still today. Part of what has kept her legacy so alive are the intriguing details of the scandals surrounding her, and the surprising ways she handled things. Based on what we’re seeing in the trailer with Jessica Chastain, the movie is going to dive right into those subjects.
For example, Tammy Faye Bakker always came across as glamorous and as having a big personality and sense of style, which Jessica Chastain appears to capture in the trailer. Other Evangelists on television at the time condemned homosexuality and spoke of the AIDs crisis as a punishment for homosexuals during the 1980s. Tammy Faye reached out to HIV and AIDs patients during this time and publicly supported the LGBTQ+ community. In the 1980s, this was about as radical as an Evangelist could possibly be.
When can you expect to see The Eyes of Tammy Faye? The trailer only said “coming soon”, so they may be hedging against delays for the film. While noting that possibility, they’ve previously announced a scheduled release date in theaters for September 17, 2021.