Jessica Chastain brought a very special plus one with her to this year’s Oscar Nominees Luncheon on Tuesday.
Entertainment Weekly reports the actress took HIV activist Steve Pieters as her date to the annual event.
Reverend Pieters was interviewed on Tammy Faye’s “Tammy’s House Party” talk show in 1985 where he spoke on the plight of gay men living with HIV. There was strong homophobic sentiment during the AIDS crisis, so it was rare to have a sympathetic account from one of the victims.
READ MORE: 2022 Oscar Nominees Luncheon
The activist shared his day with the stars on Instagram.
“During lunch, I was seated between Jessica Chastain and Peter Sarsgaard, with Maggie Gyllenhall on his other side,” he wrote in the post. “Here are a few more photos from the Oscar Nominees Luncheon.”
The photos included a selfie with Peter Sarsgaard, a candid shot of Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, a background shot of Maggie Gyllenhaal, a sneaky pic of Steven Spielberg, and a mid-conversation photo of “Tammy Faye” co-stars Andrew Garfield and Chastain.
The activist was portrayed by Randy Havens in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” Chastain, who also served as a producer on the autobiographical film, wanted to include the interview scene to show the impact Faye had with her show. Despite the frequent criticism the TV personality received for her bold looks, interviews like the one with Pieters had an effect to combat societal notions.
“I believe that Tammy and Steve Pieters saved lives that day, through that interview,” Chastain told EW‘s “The Awardist” podcast previously. “I felt ashamed that this woman hadn’t been acknowledged for that, and instead had been criticized for how she decided to present herself in terms of her mascara.”