Al Pacino may have fluffed his lines at the 2024 Oscars, but he’s got nothing but love and support from close Hollywood pal Jessica Chastain – who’s treating him like a second father figure and the adoration is totally mutual.

“A lot of the press and public mistake Brad Pitt or Terrence Malick as Jessica’s biggest career benefactors after they put her in The Tree of Life 13 years ago, but in fact Jessica was already tapped for greatness when that project came into her life,” an insider tells Closer exclusively of how it was Al, 84, who saw Jessica’s potential far earlier.

“The real big break, as far as she sees it, was grabbing the attention of Al Pacino in the late 2000’s and going on to work on some obscure and experimental theatre projects with him. Al was totally captivated by her and became her biggest cheerleader,” the source explains.

Jessica Chastain Determined to Save Al Pacino's Movie Legacy
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“Only when you have a true heavyweight in your corner like Al do you get taken seriously by people like Brad or Terrence,” the source says.

The 2011 drama The Tree of Life was produced by Brad’s Plan B Entertainment and the Oscar winner starred as the lead in the film, which also featured Hollywood heavyweight Sean Penn. Famed director Terrence, 80, helmed the project, which was Jessica’s big break in Hollywood.

The movie came out the same year as The Help, which turned out to be a blessing as it showed Jessica’s full range as an actress. The Help earned the Sacramento, California, native her first Oscar nomination, getting the nod for Best Supporting actress, although she lost to costar Octavia Spencer.

Jessica, 47, went on to win her first Oscar in 2022, snagging Best Actress for The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

“Sure, Al has become something of a punchline over the last few years because of his crazy way of speaking or his always offbeat take on things, but Jessica has an incredibly deep and pretty wholesome love for this guy and of course she’s going to drop everything for the chance to act with him again, which they have plans to do in the immediate future,” the insider says of Jessica.

Jessica Chastain Determined to Save Al Pacino's Movie Legacy
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The extraordinarily busy actress will be starring alongside Al in the film Lear Rex, which is currently in pre-production. They are the only two names attached to the project, showing the pair’s close bond where they will play a father and daughter.

“An aging King divides kingdom among daughters to prevent future conflict, but spurns loving young daughter and trusts cruel elders who seize power and abandon him to nightmarish exile,” the drama’s description reads on IMDB.

“Jessica is determined to save the legacy of Al and make sure he’s doing great work in the final years of his career,” the source notes. “That’s the least that she owes him!”