Jessica Chastain does not want roles where the woman is defined by men
Zero Dark Thirty is about the search for a male terrorist, but it could be argued that the gender of the protagonists is largely irrelevant.
It is for this reason that actress Jessica Chastain was attracted to her role in the film as the central character of Maya, based on the real-life female Central Intelligence Agency operative who led the decade-long quest to find Osama bin Laden.
During a roundtable interview in New York last month, the 35-year-old actress, who has won a Golden Globe award for her role, says she can think of few other films "where the female lead is not defined by the men in her life".
"Usually, there's a love interest or she's a victim of a man. Maya's so the opposite - she's not protected or mentored by a man, but is capable and stands on her own. For me, it was really exciting to see that in a script, because I find that really lacking in cinema.