Jessica Chastain covers the special summer 2012 fashion and beauty issue of T Magazine. In the accompanying interview, the gorgeous actress dishes on her childhood and growing up in Northern California, fashion, her career, and dreams come true.

It was a great year for Jessica Chastain. In 2011, the 35-year-old actress appeared in six films, gathering 30 nominations and 16 awards, among them a National Society of Film Critics award for Best Supporting Actress for 'The Tree of Life,' 'The Help' and 'Take Shelter', and BAFTA and Academy Award nominations for 'The Help.' T Magazine Summer 2012 had the chance to sit down for a chat with Chastain and talk about her childhood and growing up in Northern California, fashion, her career, and dreams come true.

"It’s a strange moment when your dreams become your reality," she says. "What does it mean? Yesterday I had my portrait taken for the Academy. The photographer told me he shot Rita Hayworth! For the rest of my life, I am 'the Oscar-nominated Jessica Chastain.'"

Chastain grew up in Northern California. "Growing up, a big expense was a fashion magazine," she says. "I got $100 for clothes at the beginning of the year, and I had to be very careful about what pieces would last — I bought thrift and vintage."
The actress confessed in the interview with the magazine that she was a romantic girl without a lot of friends. "I was awkward. I looked like a boy when I was 8 years old — lanky with short red hair. You know that book 'Ramona the Pest'? I felt like that," she says.

Jessica Chastain for T Magazine Summer 2012 Jessica Chastain for T Magazine Summer 2012 Jessica Chastain for T Magazine Summer 2012 Jessica Chastain for T Magazine Summer 2012

What about fashion? "I’m not a flip-flop girl" — Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses and a man’s vintage gray fedora because, she says, "I like a quirky, old-fashioned look."

On appearing on the red carpet, the actress confesses that, "The red carpet takes a while to get used to. The photographers, the yelling aspect of it. But I get to wear something very beautiful."
Her first red carpet experience was at Cannes for the premiere of 'The Tree of Life.' For the event, Zac Posen made her a dress, which she kept. "I cleaned it and stored it for a daughter someday," she says. "And I had the best accessories with it — Sean Penn on one hand and Brad Pitt on the other. I have an emotional response to clothes. I love to be able to wear a Givenchy gown."

In the interview, Jessica admits that she's not overprotective with her image. "My job as an actor is not to be vain. When we were making 'The Help' in Mississippi, we drank moonshine and had huge dance parties. I ate a lot of fried food. I had to gain 15 pounds for the role," the actress says.

Moreover, Chastain says she's not a huge exerciser. "I’m not the girl who goes to spinning class. I do yoga once in a while. I used to think about dieting, but I’m vegan now, so it’s not really a problem," she told the magazine.

On her future projects, Chastain confides she would like to work with Lars von Trier and Darren Aronofsky and, she says, to do "a mystical horror film! Doing the same thing over and over again is just boring." Does this thing apply when it comes to playing the same role every night in the theater? "Oh, no! I love being on stage. There’s an energy-sharing in the room, with the audience, and you’re responsible for that energy. You can feel when they’re bored — the coughing, the unwrapping. That’s what makes it terrifying!"

Jessica Chastain for T Magazine Summer 2012

Jessica Chastain for T Magazine Summer 2012

Photos courtesy of T Magazine