‘Zero Dark Thirty’s’ Jessica Chastain on women defined by work

It didn’t dawn on Jessica Chastain until after she saw “Zero Dark Thirty” that her character in the film, a driven CIA agent named Maya, had a few things in common with the movie’s director, Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow.

“On set, you feel like you are the character,” Chastain says in the video interview above, the final segment of three parts.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Jessica Chastain on ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Later, Chastain says, she realized, “Wow, there are two women that work in fields dominated by men … and they do expert work and they lead with their work before anything else and they never complain about the glass ceiling in their jobs. If you do good work, it will rise.”

As much as Chastain, who now has received back-to-back Oscar nominations for her work in “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Help,” loves to lose herself in her roles, she says she’s really more defined by family and friends than her job. But since the 35-year-old actress prefers those aspects of her life stay private, she’s more than happy to keep the public focused on the acting.


“In the press, I like to be known for my work and not for whom I’m dating or what my favorite ice cream is,” Chastain says. “So I feel honored to portray a character like [Maya] because I’ve known a lot of women who have chosen that in their lives but I’d never seen that in cinema. ... It’s wonderful to tell everyone’s story.”


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