January 17, 2018 09:13 AM

Jessica Chastain was never enamored with the idea of marriage — until she met her match.

“I never wanted to get married,” the 40-year-old actress tells WSJ. Magazine in their February Talents & Legends issue.

That all changed, however, when Chastain met Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, a fashion executive from a noble Italian family. And although her beau knew tying the knot wasn’t important to her when their courtship began in 2012, they exchanged vows in Italy over the summer last year.

“When I first met my husband, he knew that marriage wasn’t something I was interested in. And then as we got to know each other, the idea of marriage shifted for me,” she explains. “There are some things worth celebrating — and he’s worth celebrating.”

Annemarieke Van Drimmelen for WSJ. Magazine

Chastain continues, “I actually love being married. I never thought I would, but this is a spectacular human being, and I am celebrating that I get to share my life with him.”

Jessica Chastain
Annemarieke Van Drimmelen for WSJ. Magazine

Growing up, Chastain reveals she watched her own mother in difficult romantic relationships.

RELATED VIDEO: That’s Amore! Jessica Chastain Ties The Knot With Italian Boyfriend Gian Luca Passi De Preposulo

“My mom was a single mom; I don’t know who my biological father is, and I grew up in a household that was really financially unstable,” the Oscar nominee shares.

The Zero Dark Thirty star butted heads with some of the men who dated her mom, but she says they taught to her to stand up for herself.

Jessica Chastain

“There was a turning point in my life where we were living with someone I didn’t like very much, a boyfriend of my mom’s,” she recalls. “And he did something — my room was messy or whatever and he had taken my clothes, and I was telling him to give me back my stuff — and he slapped me. And I just kicked him in the genitals, and he fell to the ground immediately. It was me, my sister and my brother — and I remember looking at my sister’s face, and we were both like, ‘Oh, my God, what did I just do?’ And then I ran out of the house. But I always look back on that moment as knowing that, okay, if anything happens to me, I’m capable of fighting back.”

“He never messed with me again,” the actress adds. “If you allow a bully to intimidate or victimize you, they’ll continue to do it. Bullies are actually weak; they don’t go after strong people.”

Jessica Chastain
Annemarieke Van Drimmelen for WSJ. Magazine

WSJ. Magazine‘s premiere Talents and Legends February Issue features dual cover stars Jessica Chastain and Michael B. Jordan.

Of the decision to feature these storytellers on Talents and Legends, Editor-in-Chief Kristina O’Neill says, “At a time when the entertainment industry is undergoing some much-needed soul searching, I can’t think of two actors who more brilliantly represent the future of Hollywood than Michael B. Jordan and Jessica Chastain—two talents who are well on their way to becoming legends.”

WSJ. Magazine’s February issue is available on newsstands Jan. 27.

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