Jessica Chastain on ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Research and Her Broadway Debut in ‘The Heiress’

Jessica Chastain has just earned her second Oscar nomination for her role in the terrorist drama, Zero Dark Thirty.  The actress, previously nominated for her role in last year’s The Help, became fully immersed in her role as a CIA agent in the film.

“I asked [screenwriter Mark Boal] a lot of questions about the CIA, about the woman, everything about the scenes…You don’t think there are that many questions but there are thousands that come up,” Chastain said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.  “I read The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright.  Michael Scheuer’s book, Osama bin Laden, which I found to be fantastic.  I learned so much about him which I could never have learned from reading articles or following regular news.  Then I had to use my imagination to fill in the blanks of what I couldn’t find in the research about this woman.”

While researching her role as Maya, a character based on the woman who ultimately found bin Laden, Chastain learned that many CIA analysts in the field are women.  “To be a targeter, you have to be really smart.  I believe Maya’s the smartest person the room,” she said.  “I believe she’s always been the smartest person in the room, maybe when she was a little kid.  I don’t think she thinks in terms of the glass ceiling and the CIA and the sexism.  It’s more about, ‘Just listen to me.’  That was constantly in my head the whole time I was playing the role.  I just kept thinking, ‘Just listen to me.  Why is no one listening?’”

Right now, Chastain is also starring on Broadway in The Heiress, which she’s juggling with press for Zero Dark Thirty.  In fact, she’ll probably be even more in demand now that her Oscar nomination has been announced.  But for now, she’s been too busy to do any planning for the future.

“It’s always been my dream to be on Broadway, so I’m just really excited to have the opportunity to do it,” she said.  “I can’t wait to get back to a schedule where I have the days to just have a normal life and then do the play at night.  I haven’t experienced that yet because even when we started previews, I was constantly doing ADR [additional dialogue recording] for Zero Dark Thirty or ADR for Mama, or magazine shoots because magazines are three months ahead from the release.  So the days were always booked.

“But that’s ok because I love my job.  I think the month of March I’m going to go to Europe and just disappear for an entire month.”

Zero Dark Thirty hits theaters Friday, January 11.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/sally-field-hello-my-name-is-doris.jpg
Sally Field On Improvisation, How She Chooses Her Roles and ‘Hello, My Name is Doris’
“There’s a dearth of roles for women. I turn down a lot of stuff because there’s just nothing in it for me to do.” – Sally Field   Actress Sally Field put in an appearance at SXSW last week to promote her new film, Hello My Name is Doris. Michael Showalter has directed the movie […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Will-Ferrell-Get-Hard.jpg
Will Ferrell on His Comedy Roots, ‘Get Hard’ and His Favorite Roles to Play
Ferrell was on hand to take part in a Q&A and spoke more about how working with Hart came about. When asked if he chooses his projects based on who he wants to work with, or the script itself, Ferrell explained that each project was different.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/daniel-dae-kim.jpg
Hawaii Five-0’s Daniel Dae Kim Talks Directorial Debut: “The first day I had to yell action, it was kind of odd”
Hawaii Five-0‘s Daniel Dae Kim, who fans know best as Chin Ho Kelly, recently made his directorial debut on the CBS series. Kim shared his experience with The Hollywood Reporter, saying that his experience was “weird at first,” as he had to direct his co-stars. “The first day I had to yell action, it was […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Ellie-Kemper-Unbreakable-Kimmy-Schmidt.jpg
Ellie Kemper on ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, Doomsday Cults and Tina Fey
When Ellie Kemper joined The Office in season 5, her character Erin Hannon wasn’t intended to be one of the show’s primary characters. However, Kemper won producers over with her portrayal of the cheerful, naive receptionist and Erin was heavily featured in the series’ final seasons. Her portrayal also impressed 30 Rock producers Tina Fey […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/lily-james-cinderella.jpg
Lily James on Auditioning for ‘Cinderella’ and the Hardest Scenes She Had to Shoot
"The good thing is wearing something like that sort of changes how you stand and it gives you a sense of grace that you can use to your advantage as an actor" - Lily James on wearing corsets