Good news, shy people: Jessica Chastain is one of you, and she's not ashamed.

There's something about actress Jessica Chastain you wouldn't necessarily pick up on while watching her on the big screen or gracing red carpets.

She's shy. (Like really, truly shy.)

Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images.


“I’m almost having a breakdown right now,” she admitted to James Lipton recently during an interview on "Inside the Actors Studio."

"You’re still shy?” he asked her.

“Yes, I’m so shy,” she answered.

To her biggest fans, her shyness may not be news. She's talked publicly about it before.

As Chastain explained to Chelsea Handler on "Chelsea" earlier this year (emphasis added):

"[Being on a movie set] is less intimidating to me than social circumstances. This weekend, I went to a party — it was Katy Perry’s party — and I was just like, ‘Why am I at this party? I’m not as cool as these people, and at some point they’re going to realize that I shouldn’t be here.’ But I feel like, on a film set, 'OK, I have a reason to be here.'"

​Photo by Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images.

Chastain's shyness may be surprising for a couple reasons.

For one, she doesn't seem like someone who's shy. She's an Academy Award-nominated actress who's owned the silver screen in blockbusters like "The Martian" and had us cracking up in "The Help." How can such a Hollywood A-lister be shy?

She's also wildly successful. And shyness isn't something we necessarily associate with successful people.

But maybe we should.

​Photo by Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images.

As Chastain's career proves, being shy isn't a death sentence for ambitions. In fact, it could be just the opposite.

While shyness may be a hinderance to a person's success in some ways — like feeling nervous about meeting new people at a networking event, for instance — people who are shy tend to have other strengths in their corner.

Shy people tend to be great listeners and, thus, total rockstars when it comes to observing the world around them. As Greatist points out, research suggests people are more productive and creative when they're able to work privately — often a preference for shy and introverted folks (introversion and shyness are different, by the way). And on the more personal side, shy people are more likely to report having a "rich, complex inner life" too.

Whoever said shyness is a weakness clearly wasn't paying close enough attention.

There are many reasons to feel quite all right with being shy. But, according to Chastain, that should never stop you from living your life out loud.

Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“You don’t know if you just don't do it," she told Handler. "If you’re feeling shy or feeling whatever, just throw yourself out there. And maybe it actually changes who you are."

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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