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all eyes on her

Jessica Chastain wins her 1st Oscar after competitive Best Actress race

In one of the most competitive categories of the 2022 Oscars, Jessica Chastain has snagged a victory. 

Chastain won the Oscar for Best Actress on Sunday for her performance as Tammy Faye Messner in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. It was the first Oscar win of Chastain's career after she was previously nominated for The Help and Zero Dark Thirty

In her acceptance speech, Chastain called out "discriminatory and bigoted legislation that is sweeping our country with the only goal of further dividing us," and she paid tribute to the LGBTQ community. The actress also said she was inspired by Tammy Faye Messner's "radical acts of love" and by "her compassion," adding, "I see it as a guiding principle that leads us forward."

"You are unconditionally loved for the uniqueness that is you," Chastain also told viewers. 

This win for Chastain certainly didn't come easy; although the other three acting categories at the Oscars seemed like done deals this year, experts were less sure about Best Actress. When the awards season first started, Kristen Stewart was considered the frontrunner for playing Princess Diana in Spencer, and although her momentum died down, some thought she could still walk away with a win.

On the other hand, there was also Nicole Kidman, who won the Golden Globe for playing Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos. The Academy also loves Olivia Colman, who was nominated for The Lost Daughter, and in the days before the Oscars, Penélope Cruz seemed to be gaining momentum for Parallel Mothers

But Chastain emerged as the frontrunner after a win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which helped propel her to an Oscar victory.