Before last year, few moviegoers knew the name Jessica Chastain, but after a year that kicked off at Sundance with Jeff Nichols’ thriller Take Shelter and the premiere of Ralph Fiennes’ Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus at Berlin, Chastain seemed to be everywhere. The year’s clear “It Girl” continued her run into summer with an amazing performance in Terrence Malick’s critically-acclaimed The Tree of Life, a very different role in The Help, for which she received an Oscar nomination, and then John Madden’s The Debt.
Now, Chastain is starring in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty as a CIA agent named Maya who ends up taking the lead in the search for Osama bin Laden post-9/11. It’s a search that will take up the next nine years of Maya’s life, day and night, becoming an obsession. Chastain gives a stunning performance amidst an enormous cast of actors who come in and out and after watching the meticulous raid on the compound where Bin Laden may be hiding, you still walk out of the movie remembering the power Chastain brings to the role that makes you wonder about the unrevealed actual person on which the character is based.
ComingSoon.net attended the New York junket last week and in the video interview below, we speak to Chastain about:
* How she was approached by Kathryn and why she wanted to do it
* How people assumed she was playing one of the wives of the SEALs, but she couldn’t correct them
* Why she was happy to play one of Bigelow’s first female protagonists
* How Maya holds the film together with so many others coming in and out
* What her first meeting with Kathryn was like
* Working with Jason Clarke again
* How she prepared for the role
* What she’s hoping to do next after finishing her run on Broadway in “The Heiress”
Zero Dark Thirty opens in New York and Los Angeles on Wednesday, December 19 and then nationwide on January 11.