Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield filming The Eyes of Tammy Faye on location in North Carolina
Principal production has started on the Fox Searchlight Film based on the acclaimed 2000 documentary of the same name which chronicled the rise and fall of televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.
The feature looks at the rise, fall and subsequent redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker who became famous in the 1970s and 80s alongside her husband Kim Bakker (pictured below). From small beginnings, the couple created the world’s largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were famous for their message pf love, acceptance and prosperity. The film will follow the couple as their empire is beset by financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal.
Charlotte, North Carolina are hosting the production which stars Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar) as Tammy Faye Bakker, Andrew Garfield (Silence, Hacksaw Ridge) as Jim Bakker.
The feature is written by Abe Sylvia (Dead to Me, The Affair) and directed by Michael Showalter (The Big Sick, Gracie and Frankie). Showalter states “I am overjoyed to be working with the entire team at Searchlight on this film, and to collaborate with extraordinary actors like Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield who will bring so much warmth and intelligence to a pair of compelling and controversial evangelical powerhouses”.
Jessica Chastain, who is also a producer on the feature notes, “I was deeply moved by Tammy Faye’s story from the moment I saw Fenton and Randy’s documentary, so Kelly and I are thrilled to be partnering with them, Fox Searchlight, Michael Showalter, MWM Studios and the rest of the filmmaking team to bring such an incredible true story to audiences. We are looking forward to sharing Tammy Faye’s story with the world, she was truly a woman ahead of her time.”
Chastain is producing alongside Kelly Carmichael under their Freckle Films Banner. Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane produce from MWM Studios. Executive producing are Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato and Meredith Milton as well as Jordana Mollick of Semi-Formal Productions and Adrian Alperovich from MWM Studios. Fox Searchlight is financing and distributing worldwide.
North Carolina has hosted features including Oscar Winner Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and provides a 25% tax credit on qualifying expenses and purchases made by productions while in state. With an annual budget of USD31 million per fiscal year, there is sunset date on the program.
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