"I don't talk about it much," Chastain admitted, "but it was really, um, it was not what you would expect."
Jessica Chastain says a childhood in poverty shaped her into someone who wants to lift other people's voices up.
During an interview with The Sunday Times, the actress spoke candidly about growing up with a single mom in a household of five children.
The daily struggle is one she admits led her to grow up "with a lot of resentment," however it only strengthened her resolve to not want "anyone else to be denied anything."
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"I don't talk about it much," she told the publication, "but it was really, um, it was not what you would expect."
"When people see me, I think they expect a different background than I have," she noted. "So because I come from that place, I know what it's like. And it makes me angry. And I don't [want] anyone else to be denied anything. In terms of a voice, being seen, being acknowledged and valued."
"The 355" star, who went to the prestigious Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York, had to work through school due to a lack of family money. However, she didn't do it alone.
"There were people that saw I was struggling as a kid and they helped me," she explained. "And that's why I ended up where I am now."
The star went on to explain that she was the first in her family to not end up pregnant as a teen.
Chastain went on to have two children once she'd firmly established her career -- in 2018 and 2020.
On having children as a working parent she noted how she empathized with Chris Hemsworth while shooting "The Huntsman."
"Right now, as a society," she said, "I don't believe we value fathers as much as we should.
"I think we have to understand that — and this is tough as a woman to say this — the father relationship is just as important as the mother relationship."