The upcoming biopic The Eyes of Tammy Faye looks to shed some new light on the scandalous life of singer and televangelist Tammy Faye and her husband Jim Bakker. The film is based on a documentary of the same name made by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar) portrays Tammy Faye while Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge, The Amazing Spider-Man) plays her first husband Jim Bakker in the film.
The couple created the Christian news program The PTL Club and turned it into a very successful enterprise. The program ran for 15 years before a sex scandal involving Jim Bakker and Jessica Hahn led to its downfall. Jessica Chastain has reportedly done 10 years of research to play the fallen televangelist. Jessica talked about the role in great detail with People Magazine. Here is an excerpt from what she said.
"I just was so blown away by her and her story. The thing I loved the most about Tammy is her capacity to love. She knew what it felt like to not feel important, and she didn't want anyone to experience that. Here's a woman that I had an idea of because of what I was fed about her, even the thing about the mascara running down her face. There is not one picture of her with mascara running down her face in reality. But people were always making her into a clown and punishing her for the mistakes of her husband, which all throughout history women have been the victim of, atoning for the sins of men."
For the physical transformation, Jessica had to spend 4 hours every day in the Make-up chair applying heavy make-up, wigs, and prosthetics. She gives the credit to her long-time make-up artists Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram, and Justin Raleigh.
"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."
Sadly, Tammy Faye won't be there to view Chastain's sure-to-be stunning performance as she passed away due to colon cancer in 2007. Tammy married property developer Roe Messner in 1993 and the couple stayed together till Roe's death in 2007 also because of cancer. After her departure from The PTL Club tammy became somewhat of a gay icon. She had long been a supporter of LGBTQ rights and had also expressed her support for people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Chastain has made sure to show this loving and accepting nature of Tammy Faye in the film. Chastain says,
"I found a video of her singing a song, and she turned to the camera and said, 'God loves you just the way you are. Whatever God means to anyone. I've never been baptized. I didn't grow up within a church, but I do believe in unconditional love. We are all part of this world, part of humanity and part of grace. No matter where you come from, you are perfect, and you are fully and unconditionally loved. And that's what I hope people leave the theater knowing."
The Eyes of Tammy Faye is directed by Michael Showalter (The Big Sick) and will be released by Searchlight pictures on September 7, 2021. You can check out the latest images from the film at People. This news first appeared at People.