Jessica Chastain won an Oscar earlier this year for her role as real-life TV preacher Tammy Faye – and will soon be seen as singer Tammy Wynette on George and Tammy.

ChastainShe also plays another real person in the current film The Good Nurse – and while this one wasn’t famous, the film will certainly show why she deserves a place in the history books.

The film tells the story of nurse Amy Laughren, a single mother with heart problems who works nights in a hospital. After a series of suspicious deaths, she helps investigators build a case when their number one suspect turns out to be a good friend of hers.

Eddie Redmayne plays Charles Cullen alongside Loughren Chastain

Chastain says it’s important to her to shine a light on brilliant women, something she says she hasn’t seen in her life.

“I love women’s stories so much, so I’m really inspired by the power of women,” she told Sky News.

“I grew up when history books never talked about how incredibly dynamic, exciting, brave and heroic women are, so it’s exciting for me to be in a position where I can use my career to expand those stories .

“Whenever I meet someone who can tell a really compelling story, I want to be a part of it.”

Chastain says being able to talk to the real Amy helped her realize how courageous she is.

“All the things she was dealing with at the time – you know, being a single mother of two girls, not having health insurance, working the night shift so you don’t really get any sleep, and at the same time she needed a heart transplant.

“That’s what we go into at the beginning of this movie, and then we realize, I mean, without giving away any spoilers, what she stumbles upon next is pretty shocking.”

Amy Laughren (left) and Jessica Chastain at the premiere of the film "A good nurse" at the Princess of Wales Theater during the Toronto International Film Festival, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in Toronto.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
The real Amy Laughren, left, and Chastain at the premiere of The Good Nurse at the Toronto International Film Festival. Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

It’s common for movies based on true stories to heighten the plight of the main character to add drama.

But Lauren says that when it came down to it, things were even tougher than they appear on screen.

“What they don’t show in the film is that in reality I was much sicker and scared, really scared to leave my two girls,” she told Sky News.

“And at that time I was also putting on a play – I was putting on my daughter’s play in the sixth grade. I was exhausted and still showed up.

“Watching Jessica play me allowed me to be proud of myself for showing up.”

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But seeing her story unfold on screen wasn’t cathartic.

Laughren admits it Eddie RedmayneHer old friend Charlie’s performance was hard to watch.

“It was really fun watching Charlie because Eddie really embodies who my friend Charlie was, and the way he moves, the way he talks, the interactions we have, it’s so real,” she said.

“That part of it was extremely exciting and allowed me to realize that I missed him for a while and it’s my fault that I actually miss the friendship because he’s a monster.

“But I didn’t know the killer, I only met the killer a couple of times. He played this role of my friend and I missed that friendship.”

Read more: The true story of the murderer Charles Cullen and the colleague who brought him to justice

The film is one of Chastain’s first major dramatic roles since winning the Best Actress Oscar in March.

She admits she enjoyed seeing herself as “Academy Award winner Jessica Chastain” in the trailer for The Good Nurse, but she’s still coming into her own.

“I’m still kind of in shock, but at the same time I’m very happy,” she said. “Especially in a project that I’ve worked so long and hard on, to be recognized in this way means a lot.”

The Good Nurse is now in UK cinemas and on Netflix