Following graduation, Chastain made some appearances in TV series, including "E.R." (left), "Law & Order,"
"Veronica Mars," and "Close to Home."
"I had a great first year," Chastain told
Smith, "but then after that, I couldn't get auditions for films or
anything. I was getting typecast as, like, guest star victims on TV shows. Or
the weird ones, the ones that are kind of neurotic or crazy.
"And also, it was kind of sad to me that a lot of people that I was
meeting hadn't heard about Juilliard. I actually had some meetings with casting
directors who didn't know the school. And you think, after you spend so much
time working so hard, working on Shakespeare and Chekhov and the classics,
which I think are the hardest things to hone in -- and the most beneficial things
to hone your skills -- to then go auditioning for little tiny things on TV
shows [and] no one believes in you, when you first walk in.
"I remember looking at a lot
of people in L.A., when we'd all be sitting there waiting to go in, and we all
kind of looked defeated before we would go in to audition. And there's
something kind of sad about that."