'Zero Dark Thirty' Star Jessica Chastain Didn't Want the 'Hunt for Osama bin Laden' Movie to 'Become About Women in the CIA' (VIDEO)

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One of 2012’s most highly-anticipated movies, Zero Dark Thirty has drawn praise and criticism for its portrait of the CIA’s hunt for Osama bin Laden. But regardless of its depiction of the events that led to the terrorist leader’s apprehension and killing, star Jessica Chastain said it was important the film didn’t become another sort of “issue” story: namely, about the real or perceived glass ceiling for women in the military.

“I’m not interested in the movie that becomes like an issue about women in the CIA,” she told Celebuzz. “I’m interested in the film that shows an amazing woman doing an amazing job that doesn’t remind me every five seconds, ‘BUT she’s a woman’.”

Zero Dark Thirty provides little information about Chastain’s character, a woman named Maya who (according to the film) spends more than a decade doing little other than investigating bin Laden’s whereabouts.

Chastain said that she had to do all of the same work as should would exploring any other character, regardless, how little of that knowledge would be revealed on screen.

“I have to be able to answer any questions anyone could possibly have,” she said. “I knew what Maya’s favorite American candy was. I had to define all of that for the character.”

Ultimately, Chastain said that playing Maya was less a matter of creating a performance than challenging herself to connect with a character that seemed dramatically different than herself.

“I’m not playing ‘Jessica Chastain as a CIA agent’,” she said. “It was a very different role; I’m a much more emotional person, and this character was trained to be unemotional, and analytically precise.”

“And when doing something like that, I had to find the humanity, and her journey within those boundaries.”

Zero Dark Thirty is playing in theaters nationwide. Watch Celebuzz’ interview with Chastain’s co-star Jason Clarke, and then le us know what you thought of the film in the comments section below!

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