Chastain Owes Acting Career To Robin Williams

Actress Jessica Chastain has called for more education about depression as she paid tribute to her mentor, Robin Williams, at the UK premiere of her new film Salome.

Chastain plays the title role opposite Al Pacino, who also directed the movie along with a simultaneous documentary, Wilde Salome, which tracks its production.

The 37-year-old has become one of the most sought after actresses of her generation following her performance in award-winning film Zero Dark Thirty.

But it was thanks to a scholarship paid for by the late Williams that she was able to keep her place at The Juilliard School in New York where she learnt her trade.

Speaking to Sky News on the red carpet in London she said children at middle school and high school should learn about suicide prevention and depression.

"We know that many artists in history have struggled with depression, they have extreme highs and extreme lows but sometimes I wonder if an artist feels free to discuss it openly because so many beautiful things happen you kind of feel like if someone's feeling down there's kind of this stigma of, 'your life is so great, how dare you feel bad about yourself?'

"So I hope that changes because clearly he (Robin Williams) was suffering from depression and didn't feel he could really express that, so I hope we as a society welcome people to talk about depression more."

Williams committed suicide at his California home last month. He had been struggling with depression after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Chastain's new film is based on the Oscar Wilde play and sees her character performing a semi-nude dance for Herod in the tale of lust, greed and revenge.

However, the star said nude scenes were a professional choice, and used the interview to denounce the hackers who accessed private nude photographs of other female celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence.

"It's such a violation. To me they're not leaked photos, they're stolen photos," she said.

"Me appearing nude in a film is my choice and I find it so terrible that these actresses have been completely victimised.

"Anything sexual which does not have the woman saying 'yes' to is a big problem to me, so I hope that we find out who these people were and we can go after them as hard as we can."

Salome and Wilde Salome are being shown at more than 250 cinemas across the country.

Pacino embarked on the project almost seven years ago, saying he has been "almost obsessed" with the play since first seeing it in London 15 years ago.