PTL! Andrew Garfield, Jessica Chastain as Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker in Biopic
(RNS) – Tammy Faye Bakker’s story has been told in countless television interviews, as a punch line in “Saturday Night Live” sketch, and in a number of musicals.
Now it’s one step closer to Hollywood treatment.
People Magazine has released the first photos of Andrew Garfield and Jessica Chastain as famous TV evangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker in the upcoming film “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”.
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The photos, released on Wednesday (June 2), show Chastain’s remarkable transformation into Tammy Faye Bakker, complete with her signature light eye makeup and outrageous lashes.
One picture shows the actress, who won an Oscar for her role in “Zero Dark Thirty”, together with Garfield in a replica of the Bakkers’ 1987 interview with “Nightline”. The live interview was the couple’s first after they left the PTL (Praise The Lord) television network amid a sex scandal with Jim Bakker and another woman – what presenter Ted Koppel called the “national soap opera” at the time.
Another shows her clutching a microphone, one hand raised while Garfield, who also starred in the religious drama “Silence,” watches a long-haired cat on his lap.
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” is produced by Chastain, who told people she was moved by Tammy Faye Bakker’s story after watching the 2000 documentary of the same name. Chastain spent a decade researching the television evangelist who became an unusual gay icon.
“I was just so blown away by her and her story,” Chastain told the magazine.
“What I loved most about Tammy is her ability to love. She knew what it felt like not to feel important, and she didn’t want anyone to experience that. “
The caricature of Tammy Faye Bakker she’d known – with mascara all over her face – didn’t exactly match her actual identity, Chastain said women were victims of atonement for the sins of men. “
On Wednesday, the actress posted several of the photos on her Instagram page along with a caption reminiscent of a video she saw of Tammy Faye Bakker. In the video, the television evangelist sang a song, then turned to the camera and said, “God loves you for who you are.”
“I’ve never been baptized before. I didn’t grow up in a church, but I believe in unconditional love, ”Chastain wrote. “We are all part of this world, part of humanity and part of grace. No matter where you are from, you are perfect and you are loved completely and unconditionally. And I hope that people will leave the theater with this knowledge. “
The biopic will also feature a number of other evangelicals known in the 1980s, according to its IMDb page.
Vincent D’Onofrio, who starred on the TV show “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” will appear in the film as Jerry Falwell Sr., who took over PTL after the departure of Bakkers. The film also features Gabriel Olds as Pat Robertson and Jay Huguley as Jimmy Swaggart.
Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker became famous after starting PTL, a popular Christian news show and satellite network, in the 1970s. At the height of their fame, they also opened a Christian theme park called Heritage USA.
He was convicted of financial fraud following the Jim Bakker sex scandal and spent five years in federal prison. The couple divorced and Jim Bakker is now moderating “The Jim Bakker Show” with his second wife Lori Bakker.
Tammy Faye Bakker, later Tammy Faye Messner, died of cancer in 2007.
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“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” is scheduled for September 17th.
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