P. Claire Dodson
October 20, 2015 11:16 am

Not all celebrities should be role models, but most inadvertently are. Very few, on the other hand, try to be a good role model for young people on purpose.

Enter actress Jessica Chastain, who told HuffPost Live she actively thinks about how the roles she takes will inspire young women. “I have to be careful when I’m choosing roles,” she told host Alex Miranda. “I want little girls to watch The Martian and say, ‘I want to be the commander of a mission to Mars,’ ‘I want to be in this movie,’ and [to see] that actually, it’s OK — you can have these desires to be a writer and fall in love and do all this, and you can actually save yourself.”

Of course, this makes total sense when you look at The Academy Award-nominated actress’ recent roles. In addition to The Martian, she’s played a CIA analyst in Zero Dark Thirty, as well as strong female characters in a The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby and The Tree of Life. 

She’s also currently starring as the creepily compelling Lady Lucille Sharp in Crimson Peak alongside Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska.

In the interview, Chastain recounted a story told by her co-star Aksel Hennie whose 10-year-old daughter said of Chastain’s commanding character in The Martian, “Wow. She’s so tough.”

“That’s what I want in these movies,” Chastain continued. “The more independent and free a woman is, I think those are the most inspiring stories for these little girls.” Well, we just totally love that.

Related reading: 

Jessica Chastain has important things to say about how we sexualize female action stars

Jessica Chastain wants to play a Bond villain, all the yes

[Image via Shutterstock and 2oth Century Fox]

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