Jessica Chastain Remembers Philip Seymour Hoffman in Emotional SAG Awards Speech: 'Keep Going'

The SAG Awards' outstanding female performance in a limited series or television movie winner gracefully recovered from a small stumble on the way to the podium

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 26: Jessica Chastain accepts the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series award for “George & Tammy” onstage during the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on February 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty

Jessica Chastain is sharing encouraging words she got from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

At the 2023 SAG Awards Sunday night, Chastain won best female actor in a television movie or series for Showtime's George & Tammy. The other nominees were Emily Blunt (The English), Julia Garner (Inventing Anna) Niecy Nash-Betts (Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story) and Amanda Seyfried (The Dropout).

Chastain, 45, appeared visibly shocked when her name was revealed, and on the way to the stage, she had a brief fall before getting to the microphone.

After thanking a list of people for making the project happen, Chastain, who is currently performing on Broadway in A Doll's House, said in her speech, "Every day after the show I get the opportunity to meet people at the stage door, and I get to meet a lot of actors who tell me their stories."

29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals
Frazer Harrison/Getty

"It reminds me of when I was in college, Philip Seymour Hoffman came to speak to my class," she continued of the late actor, who died from a drug overdose at 46 in 2014.

"He told us all his frustrating stories about auditions and he encouraged us to keep going even when we felt like no one was watching us. And at the end of the talk, he said, 'I look forward to working with each of you,' and it really shocked me because it was like he brought it into being. A few years later it came true and I had the opportunity to do a play with him [Othello in 2009]."

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Chastain added, "I'm telling this story now because it reminds me of how powerful our mind is and that we are what our thoughts create. So I just wanna tell everyone who might be struggling at home, to all the actors that I get to meet: Keep going. You're one job away. I look forward to working with you. I'll see you on set. I love you."

Back in 2020, Chastain tweeted, "Every once in awhile I think about what Philip Seymour Hoffman would be creating and I get very very sad."

Philip Seymour Hoffman. Jason Merritt/Getty

The actress played famed country star Tammy Wynette in George & Tammy, the Showtime series that chronicled the relationship between country music legends Tammy and George Jones (played by Michael Shannon). The actress won best actress in 2022 for her film role as Tammy Faye Bakker in The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

The 29th Screen Actors Guild Awards are being broadcast live on Netflix's YouTube channel.

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