Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield look almost unrecognizable in their new roles as televangelists Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker for the upcoming Searchlight Pictures production The Eyes Of Tammy Faye.
The Eyes Of Tammy Faye will take an “intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker, rose from humble beginnings to create the world’s largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life.”
Academy Award nominees Chastain and Garfield star as the Bakkers, the married couple from Minnesota who—in their pursuit of sharing the Lord’s word—created a televangelist empire. The two were the founding hosts of of The 700 Club and co-founded the television show The PTL Club, which collapsed following a sex scandal between Jim and church secretary Jessica Hahn, in which Hahn alleges Jim raped her.
At the peak of their success, the Bakkers reached unimaginable heights. They created a multimillion dollar business, which afforded them luxuries even God would struggle to afford. But as they say, more money, more problems, and in 1988 Jim was indicted on eight counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy.
Tammy Faye was known throughout her career for her kindness, sincerity, and her empathy toward the LGBT community at the height of the AIDs epidemic. She took on the last name Messner after the re-marrying mega-church contractor Roe Messner following her divorce from Jim Bakker in 1992. Messner died in 2007 after an 11-year long, highly publicized fight with cancer.
Following his time in prison Jim Bakker went on to remarry Lori Graham, and the two now raise money on The Jim Bakker Show by selling end of the world products to help people prepare for “the end of days.” During the COVID pandemic, the two sold the debunked colloidal silver supplements, claiming it cured the coronavirus. Jim and Lori were ordered to cease selling the product by the state of New York, and Missouri and Arkansas have since filed lawsuits against the couple.
The Eyes Of Tammy Faye hits theaters September 17, 2021.