Oscars 2022: Jessica Chastain shines the spotlight on suicide and LGBTQ community

Oscars 2022: Jessica Chastain shines the spotlight on suicide and LGBTQ community

Jessica Chastain gave a moving speech as she accepted the best actress Oscar for ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’ over the weekend. 

Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain / YouTube screenshot

Jessica Chastain has used her speech during the Oscars to shine the spotlight on suicide and the discrimination that the LGBTQ community faces.

The actress won the best actress Oscar for ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’. 

"Thank you so much to the Academy for this," she said. 

Jessica was nominated alongside Olivia Colman ('The Lost Daughter'), Penelope Cruz ('Parallel Mothers'), Nicole Kidman ('Being the Ricardos'), and Kristen Stewart ('Spencer'). She said it was an honour to be nominated alongside the stars. 

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"I have to say your names - Kristen, Nicole, Penelope, Olivia. I love you guys so much. To be included in the conversation with you is such an honor. I have to thank Michael Showalter, my director, who created a space that inspired creativity and love and courage. And the incredible hair and makeup team who really helped me find her," she said.

The actress went on to talk about how so many people are battling with depression, especially following the past two years where the world was dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"And right now we are coming out of some difficult times that have been filled with a lot of trauma and isolation. And so many people out there feel hopelessness and they feel alone," she said. 

She added that suicide has become one of the leading cause of deaths.

"Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. It's touched many families. It's touched mine," she said. Jessica has been vocal about the death of her sister Juliet Chastain, who died by suicide in 2003 at age 24. 

The actress also spoke about the discrimination that the LGBTQ community faces. 

WATCH: Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at Oscars

She says this had led to some of them succumbing to suicide because they "oftentimes feel out of place with their peers".

"We're faced with discriminatory and bigoted legislation that is sweeping our country with the only goal of further dividing us. There's violence and hate crimes being perpetuated on innocent civilians all over the world," she said. 

The first-time Oscar winner said she draws inspiration from singer and TV personality Tammy Faye Bakker. 

"In times like this, I think of Tammy and I'm inspired by her radical acts of love. We've talked about love a lot tonight. And I'm inspired by her compassion and I see it as a guiding principle that leads us forward. And it connects us all in the desire that we want to be accepted for who we are, accepted for who we love and to live a life without the fear of violence or terror," she said. 

Finally, the star spread a message of hope to those suffering with depression or loneliness.

"And for any of you out there who do in fact feel hopeless or alone, I just want you to know you are unconditionally loved for the uniqueness that is you."

Image courtesy of YouTube screenshot

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