Jessica Chastain reflects on Ukraine trip: ‘Should I be doing this?’


Actress Jessica Chastain “understood how sad it would be” but knew she “had to go.”

The Oscar-winning actress, 45, detailed her surreal trip to Ukraine — alongside meeting President Volodymyr Zelensky — during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday night.

Chastain traveled to Kyiv in August and witnessed the first-hand destruction of the war between Russia and Ukraine, visiting a children’s hospital and people across the country.

“We don’t really get to see much of what’s happening there on the news because it’s so dangerous for journalists to be there,” Kimmel acknowledged. “Was it worse than you expected it was going to be?” “Was it better?”

“I understood how sad it would be and I knew I had to go,” Chastain said. “I felt just my heart was going out to them because there was like a girl with her mom and she needed new legs, so that was really devastating.”

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Jessica Chastain and Jimmy Kimmel.
Jessica Chastain detailed her surreal trip to Ukraine during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel.

Jessica Chastain.
“Should I be doing this?” Jessica Chastain questioned herself.

Jessica Chastain.
“I understood how sad it would be and I knew I had to go,” Jessica Chastain said.

Chastain detailed her experience meeting Ukrainian families who shared an apartment in Irpin. The actress was taken notice of all the bullet holes around the home.

“At one point I said, is that a bullet hole in the mirror?” the actress recalled. “And then I looked at the ceiling and there were bullet holes. Then I looked in the chair I was sitting in had bullet holes. And there were little kids”

Chastain later met President Zelensky, as the California native described the experience as “being in a video game.”

“There were a few times on that day I thought, ‘Should I be doing this?’ Chastain said. “This feels very scary.”

A captivating moment was Kimmel’s curiosity in asking the movie star what Zelensky had to say about her.

“(Zelensky) kept asking ‘Are they still talking about us in the press in the United States? The more that the people talk about it, we really need help,” Chastain recalled Zelensky saying.

She said Zelensky told her he was really afraid of what’s going to happen in the fall or the winter if the electricity cuts off.

“He just wanted to make sure — please talk to people, your friends. I think that’s what he’s been trying to do,” Chastain said. “To make sure the world doesn’t forget about them.”