As Hollywood stars go, Jessica Chastain has up til now been something of a quiet presence. Over the past months she’s been working with Hollywood greats including Terrence Malick, Al Pacino and Ralph Fiennes, but we’re only just starting to see the rather wonderful fruits of her work.

Five Things You Never Knew About Jessica Chastain

Chastain’s latest project, the Pacino-directed Wilde Salome premiered yesterday at the Venice film festival. She pretty much steals the show as the titular character, so for those feeling a bit out of the loop, here’s five things you don’t know about Ms Chastain – read the full interview in the September issue of Wonderland.

1. She’s a theatre geek.
“I’m the girl that goes to the theatre by herself or with friends. I was always the freckly, redheaded theatre nerd… I’ve never been the cool kid. I got teased mercilessly in elementary school and once I found my group of theatre friends I realized I do fit in somewhere.”

2. She likes hanging out in the kitchen:
“I love long-term cooking, the type that takes all day where you really smell it in the house, like roasting pears.”

3. She plays the Ukelele.
I used to play guitar and I realized when I started working and traveling so much that I wasn’t able to play anymore because I felt stupid carrying around a guitar case. With the Ukelele I could just stick it in my suitcase and play it in the hotel room.

4. She never wanted to be famous.
“I’ve always been the student, learning about being an actor, and becoming a better actor, so for me it’s about working with the masters of it. It’s not been about ‘This is the film where I’ll get famous.’ I’ve never thought like that.”

5. She’s a Scrabble champ.
“I’m so obsessed that during [the filming of] The Wettest Country in the World Tom Hardy and I would play two games at once on our iPads. Of course I always beat him, though he would deny that.”

Interview: Tony Horkins
Words: Adam Welch
Photography: Danielle Levitt
Fashion: Kris Zero