Jessica Chastain says she wasn’t attempting to make a “political statement” when she wore a mask at award shows this past season.
The Zero Dark Thirty star, 46, shared at The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual Tony Nominees Roundtable that she got some criticism after she was spotted at several awards shows wearing a face mask in order to prevent contracting COVID-19 while she tackled the leading role on Broadway in Henrik Ibsen’s iconic play, A Doll’s House.
“We were testing every day on our show, and even if you had no symptoms, if you tested positive for COVID, you were out for a week — and I was meeting people at the stage door who flew in from Shanghai and flew in from all over the world. To be out of the show for a week? It just felt like it was so irresponsible,” said Chastain, who received a Tony Award nomination for her role.
But not everyone understand her instinct to take precautions.
“So I was wearing the mask at the Oscars. I got quite a lot of flak for that. A lot of people thought I was making some political statement. I don’t know what they thought,” she shared with the group.
Josh Groban, who also participated in the roundtable, cut in, telling her, “theater people knew. We knew.”
“Well, OK, good,” Chastain replied. “I’ll tell you, the best thing is someone at the stage door gave me a mask that said, ‘I’m On Broadway.’ But yeah, the SAG Awards, the Oscars, a lot of people were like, ‘What are you doing?!’ I just couldn’t get sick. And I didn’t. I haven’t missed a show.”
Back in January at the Golden Globe Awards, a Twitter user posted a picture of Chastain in her mask, which matched her sparkling silver gown, along with a caption that read “and you know who didn’t get COVID at the Golden Globes?”
Chastain retweeted the post, adding “Phew!”
While walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes, Chastain explained her reasoning for masking up at the big bash.
“I’m doing a play right now in New York. I’m going to be doing A Doll’s House. I’m playing Nora,” she shared. “I’m really excited about that. I’m a little nervous about getting sick but I got my mask, I’m doing both. But also you have to be so careful in the theater because I don’t want to let my cast down.”
Chastain also paired her Gucci gown with a black mask at the Oscars, though she appeared unmasked during the red carpet and while presenting the award for Best Actress.