Rising Star: ‘The Tree Of Life’s’ Jessica Chastain

Life is sweet for Brad Pitt’s newest leading lady, AccessHollywood.com Rising Star, Jessica Chastain.

The redheaded actress is winning over critics as Brad’s wife, Mrs. O’Brien, in director Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” an ensemble piece looking at the life of a family and in particular, one son, played later in life by Sean Penn.

“I was really kind of nervous even meeting him because he’s Brad Pitt,” Jessica told Access Hollywood last month at the film’s Los Angeles premiere about working with her on screen husband. “But the wonderful thing about Brad is he’s so nice and he just wants to be treated like everyone else. He’s so sweet and funny and smart and incredibly great in this movie… and I’m excited for everyone to see his fantastic acting.”

Not yet a household name, Jessica is on the edge of breaking out, with several big roles coming up before the year is out.

“I feel like it is a dream,” she said. “I’m waiting for the shoe to drop.”

Beyond “The Tree of Life,” Jessica is set to delight audiences in “The Help,” alongside Emma Stone, which takes a look at life in the South in the 1960s.

“The Help,” which also stars another redhead, Bryce Dallas Howard, is due out on August 12, and Jessica will follow that up just weeks later, on Aug. 31, sharing the role of Rachel Singer with Oscar winner Helen Mirren in, “The Debt.”

“I play a Mossad agent. It goes from 1965 East Berlin to capture a war criminal and there’s a mistake that’s made and 30 years later, [my character has] to kind of atone for it,” Jessica explained of the role. “Helen Mirren and I play the same woman. If you’re gonna share a part, to share it with Helen Mirren, she’s a goddess.”

Jessica appeared on a host of television shows, including “ER,” Kevin McKidd’s former NBC show “Journeyman” and the role of Assistant District Attorney Sigrun Borg on the ill-fated “Law & Order: Trial By Jury” in 2005, before her breakout part in “The Tree of Life.”

With all the attention “The Tree of Life” is bringing the actress (the film earned the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival last month), she is trying to be practical, but still enjoy the moment.

“I do hope that everything continues on this course. I have to be realistic because my life is so blessed right now and I have to constantly remind myself it’s OK, I’m living a fantastic moment and enjoy every single second, because who knows how long it could last,” she said. “I just want to enjoy it.”

“The Tree of Life” is out in limited release now.

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