Jessica Chastain is as brainy as she is beautiful. She says she aspires to be an actor not just a movie star. And, when she cut school, it was to read Shakespeare in the park not make out in the park. Making out would have been more fun.

The Oscar nominated actress studied at Julliard School of Music and like other students, fretted about finding a job after she graduated.

“I used to have a lot of anxiety about how I was going to stay afloat, because as soon as I graduated, I never asked my parents for money,” she tells Marie Claire magazine in a new interview.

Jessica Chastain Fiery in Marie Claire

“I always supported myself through acting and would make money last a long time. I understand the value of money, and I’m not an impulsive buyer. I bought a new laptop three years ago, and before I bought it, I spent a month thinking about buying it.

Jessica has been just as obsessive about shopping for a man. “I’m very shy when it comes to guys,” she confesses. “I like to be wooed, but I’ve had to be more outwardly available, I guess.”

Maybe she’ll follow her friend’s advice. “You have to be more overt with men, you have to make it very clear that you’re interested, otherwise they won’t [approach you],'” she relates.

Jessica’s acting career began on television where she appeared in TV movie adaptation of the camp series “Dark Shadows.” She also appeared in “ER,” “Veronica Mars,” “Close to Home” and “Law & Order: Trial By Jury.”

But she blossomed on the big screen last year in her Oscar nominated role in “The Help,” and her standout performance in “The Tree of Life.” She’ll also star in the Osama bin Laden take-down drama “Zero Dark Thirty” helmed by Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow of “Hurt Locker” fame.

“My lifestyle hasn’t changed, except my anxiety about paying the rent is gone,” she says.