Jessica Chastain Heading to Broadway for 'The Heiress'

Thu Jan 5, 2012 1:01pm EST

Jessica Chastain is taking her rising star to Broadway.

The Golden Globe-nominated actress will make her Broadway debut with a starring role in "The Heiress," the producers said Thursday. Chastain will play the lead role of Catherine Sloper, the character Olivia de Havilland played in 1947's Oscar-winning film adaptation.

This fall, the Tony Award-winning play -- written by Ruth Goetz and Augustus Goetz, and based on Henry James' 1880 novel, "Washington Square" -- is returning to the Great White Way after 17 years. It will be produced by Paula Wagner, and "The Book of Mormon" producers Roy Furman and Stephanie P. McClelland.

The new production of "The Heiress" will be directed by Tony and Emmy Award nominee Moisés Kaufman ("33 Variations"). The theater at which it will open has yet to be announced.

Also read: Can Struggling Hollywood Ride Broadway's Coattails?

Chastain had a breakout year in 2011, with starring roles in "The Help," "Take Shelter," "The Debt" and "The Tree of Life." In addition to her Golden Globe nomination, she is also up for a SAG Award. Last year, she earned best-actress honors from the National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle, Chicago Film Critics Association and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Beyond the big screen, Chastain also has theatrical chops, which she developed as a student at the Julliard School. She played the title role in a 2006 Los Angeles production of "Salome," opposite Al Pacino, and has also performed in productions of "Othello" and "Rodney's Wife."

“I was immediately struck by Jessica's talent and skill when I saw her onstage opposite Al Pacino in 'Salome,'" Wagner said in a statement. "She is an actress with that rare ability to transition effortlessly between the stage and screen. Moisés Kaufman had the vision to see Jessica as the perfect actress to play one of the great psychologically complex female characters."

“Jessica Chastain is a great actress with chameleon-like prowess and enormous emotional intelligence; I think she's one of the best actresses of her generation. I'm thrilled to be working with her on 'The Heiress,' ” Kaufman said in a statement.

Related Articles:  Can Struggling Hollywood Ride Broadway's Coattails? Jessica Chastain to Star in Princess Diana Biopic Jessica Chastain: This Year's Model Knows 'It Will Never Happen Again'