Jessica Chastain on the Importance of Eating Alone and Trusting Your Instincts

"If you think he's cheating on you, he probably is."

Hair, Beauty, Sitting, Photo shoot, Black-and-white, Hairstyle, Model, Photography, Fashion, Long hair,
(Image credit: Daniel Jackson)

The actress and face of the new Ralph Lauren fragrance, Woman, talks her favorite show to binge, the best career move she ever made, and why you won’t find her at a roller rink.

1. If I weren’t an actress, I’d be: A teacher. I like the idea of working with kids and being able to help someone express their thoughts and open up.

2. Best career advice I’ve gotten: To not follow the money, but to follow the education of projects.

3. The three qualities that got me where I am today: I’m very thorough, I enjoy collaborating, and I’m curious about people who are different from me.

4. Moment I felt I’d made it: After Zero Dark Thirty, I had this sense of financial stability that I’ve never experienced before in my whole life.

5. Kind of work I’d do for free: Work with animals.

6. Favorite perk of the job: The fashion. It’s wonderful to work with designers to help bring their creations to life.

7. Worst pitfall of the job: People stop saying no to you—that’s when you start going on a downward spiral.

8. Change I’d like to see in my industry: Lose its fear of women in powerful positions.

9. Who I admire and why: My mother, because she raised three kids as a single mom. That’s probably the hardest job there is.

"I'm hoping to create more opportunities for women in the industry. That is a great passion of mine."

10. Last thing I binge-watched: The Crown [Netflix], because it’s a story of a woman’s power and trying to navigate a relationship without emasculating her husband.

11. Book that left a lasting impression on me: Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century, which was the collection of letters between Taylor and Burton. For me, it was more about what I didn’t want in a relationship than what I long for.

12. Movie with the greatest ending: The Sixth Sense.

13. On my bucket list: To go on a safari in Africa.

14. Cocktail of choice: Bellini.

15. My perfect day would begin: With the sounds of birds.

16. My perfect day would end: With a beautiful sunset.

17. What every woman should try once in her lifetime: Going to a restaurant and having dinner by herself.

18. One thing I’m exceptionally good at: Acting. We all have to say we are good at our own professions—it’s important.

19. One thing I’m epically bad at: Roller-skating.

20. Superhero power I’d want to have: To stop, rewind, and fast-forward time, like a VCR. I would pause to be able to see everything around me and really feel the moment more.

21. Relationship advice to my younger self: If you think he’s cheating on you, he probably is.

"We all have to say we are good at our own professions—it’s important."

22. Most agonizing career decision I've ever made: I've never made an agonizing career decision!

23. Easiest career decision I've ever made: Saying "yes" to director Terrence Malik's screenplay Tree of Life.

24. How I made my first dollar: Probably a lemonade stand.

25. How I clear my mind after a crappy day: A bath.

26. What my career in five years looks like: I'm hoping to create more opportunities for women in the industry. That is a great passion of mine.

27. Craziest thing I ever did for love: I'm very shy, so I don't do public displays of affection. I think love is intimate, and once it becomes a public thing is more about getting attention than being real.

28. Something I did recently for myself, because, why not: I left my phone at home and went for a walk in the countryside. It's something I do when I get anxious. It's important to be without your phone sometimes—it's the best self-care you can do.

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