The Eyes of Tammy Faye opens in theaters on Sept. 17

By Julie Jordan
June 09, 2021 09:52 AM
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Jessica Chastain is almost unrecognizable as Tammy Faye Bakker in the first trailer for the upcoming biopic The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

In the film, the Oscar nominee, 44, plays the televangelist who died at age 65 in 2007 after colon cancer spread to her lungs.

Chastain previously revealed to PEOPLE that she did almost 10 years of research for the role, including reading up about and watching interviews of Tammy.

"I just was so blown away by her and her story," Chastain told PEOPLE. "The thing I loved the most about Tammy is her capacity to love. She knew what it felt like to not feel important, and she didn't want anyone to experience that."

the eyes of tammy faye
Credit: Courtesy Searchlight Pictures

The biopic, for which Chastain also serves as producer, tells the story of Tammy and her first husband Jim Bakker (played by Andrew Garfield), who grew their Christian news program, the PTL Club, into a multimillion dollar industry before it collapsed following a sex scandal involving Jim and Jessica Hahn.  

Searchlight Pictures describes the drama as an "intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker, rose from humble beginnings to create the world's largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance and prosperity.

"Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. However, it wasn't long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire."

the eyes of tammy faye
Credit: Courtesy Searchlight Pictures

Chastain's transformation into Tammy meant four hours a day in the makeup chair applying intense makeup, prosthetics and wigs.

"Every moment, I had something on my face," the actress told PEOPLE. "I have a dimple in my chin that she didn't have, so we would seal that up. Her face was more round than mine, so I would have things on my cheeks. Their expertise just helped me so much with my confidence in playing her."

The Eyes of Tammy Faye opens in theaters on Sept. 17.