Jessica Chastain was told to ‘gain weight’ for The Help

SAG Awards: Jessica Chastain takes a tumble in red dress

Jessica Chastain, 46, had her breakout role alongside Viola Davis, 57, in 2011’s hit film The Help, and recalled her memories of the production while celebrating the actress that has been a close friend ever since.

The Academy Award winner recalled the entire cast and crew having “such a good time” on-set, and not just because they got along off-camera.

She revealed to People: “We all had to gain weight because they wanted us to be curvier and that was a lot of fun.

“All of us gals in Mississippi eating grits and caramel cake. We had a really good time.”

To help the “gals” get their curvy figures on-screen the production arranged “special food”, which Jessica dubbed “full-on gain weight food” for the leading ladies, which included Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard.

The Good Nurse star revealed to Associated Press: “I was being recognised in Hollywood as like this newcomer and Viola Davis showed up and gave a speech and that meant a lot.

“All of a sudden everyone in the room takes notice when someone like Viola vouches for you.

“When I got asked about doing this, the exhaustion is never too great to show up for Viola Davis.”

On stage later in the evening, Jessica shared a touching tribute to Viola, declaring: “There are not enough words in the dictionary, not enough minutes in a lifetime to sing the praises that this woman deserves.

“She is Viola. The humanitarian. The mother. The wife. And I feel extraordinarily lucky to say, my friend.”

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The guest of honour also spoke with the press during her momentous evening, revealing that her 12-year-old daughter may not follow in her award-winning footsteps.

Viola and her husband Julius Tennon spoke to Entertainment Tonight about their daughter Genesis as the actress revealed she was “like ‘eh’,” at the idea of going into acting.

Julius noted: “We are going to support whatever it is she wants to do but we don’t know what that’s going to be yet.”

The actor was glowing with pride as he gushed over his wife’s award, sharing: “It’s her humanity that’s amazing and incredible.”

Viola, however, revealed for her it is simply a symbol of a higher power: “I feel like God listened to my prayers when I was a young kid and I just wanted out. I just wanted to be somebody.”

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