Jessica Chastain has completely transformed into Tammy Faye Bakker in the first trailer for the upcoming biopic The Eyes of Tammy Faye, which hits theaters Friday, Sept. 17. Complete with her signature heavy makeup, Chastain is the spitting image of the late televangelist; The Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield plays Chastain's on-screen husband, Jim Bakker, in the film that follows the rise and fall of their empire.
Spanning decades, the film promises to show how the Bakkers rose from "humble beginnings" to build the world's largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, all while preaching a message of "love, acceptance and prosperity." The Bakkers are perhaps best known, however, for the fraud and scandals that would come down on them and topple the carefully constructed empire. The film goes through into the 1990s, following Tammy Faye's second marriage to Roe Messner, and gives glimpses at her complicated persona — a blind follower to her first husband and advocate for HIV/AIDS patients and the LGBTQ community amid the AIDS crisis.
Jessica Chastain in 'The Eyes of Tammy Faye' pic.twitter.com/gAT3cePYLS— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) June 9, 2021
In the trailer, which can be watched below, Tammy Faye starts off telling her parents about her plans to help people through her singing and Jim's preaching, but wonders as they grow in fame and in wealth about the ethics of their business. "We're not doing anything wrong, though," she half-asks to Garfield's character, to which he responds, "Was that a question?"
It's then that the "vicious attacks" and accusations of fraud and other scandals begin to threaten the couple and the house of cards comes down around them. Jim was eventually charged with fraud and conspiracy and sentenced to 45 years in prison, and Tammy Faye would file for divorce from her husband in 1992. She would go on to marry property developer Roe Messner, but within three years he would also be convicted of fraud in his own business dealings dating back to before he met Tammy Faye.
Also shown in the trailer is Tammy Faye's famous 1985 interview on The PTL Club in which she interviewed Steve Pieters, a gay minister who was an AIDS survivor, pleading with Christians to show compassion for LGBTQ people who were victims of the health crisis. "I won't go forward looking in the rearview mirror of my life," Chastain's Tammy Faye says in the trailer. "This is who I am."
Also starring in the film are Cherry Jones, Fredric Lehne, Louis Cancelmi, Sam Jaeger, Gabriel Olds, Mark Wystrach and Vincent D'Onofrio, and it is directed by Michael Showalter. The Eyes of Tammy Faye will premiere in theaters on Friday, Sept. 17.