New Delhi: 'Zero Dark Thirty' has earned Jessica Chastain her second Oscar nomination in consecutive years. She was earlier nominated for 'The Help'. She plays the role of CIA agent Maya in Kathryn Bigelow's 'ZD30'. Chastain talks about her career graph and the American foreign policies that are featured in the film.
Q: It seems that the last 3-4 years have become very fruitful for your career. How do you assess your journey in films so far?
A: It's incredible. My movies have only been out for two years and to think of what's happened in the past two years. Every day I kind of stop and think what's happened in my life? There's nothing more humbling or grounding, no matter how much attention you get in LA at an awards show, to be on the stage in front of 900 people - you have to bring it to that moment fully, and if you don't, they'll let you know.
Q: First 'Take Shelter', 'The Tree of Life', 'The Help' and now 'ZD30', it just seems to be the perfect time for you.
A: Yes it is, I feel so positive and like I can do anything. I have been struggling for so many years now and have been sidelined, but now it's my time.
Q: The role you play in 'Zero Dark Thirty' in a way supports the torture policies despite showing reluctance in some of the scenes. What do you have to say in this regards?
A: I'm a person that believes that you need to listen to your enemy, I'm not really a person that believes in revenge. So, this is a film that creates conversation because Kathryn Bigelow was determined not to put her political point of view on the film. She ends it with a question and forces the audience to participate.
Q: Do you think Hollywood films are an extension of US foreign policies?
A: No, I don't think so. Hollywood is a medium to reach among the masses. It tells the true story and lets people decide.
Q: Can we see your character in 'ZD30' as an effort to mellow down the nature of US foreign policies?
A: The movie has no agenda, Kathryn and Mark just wanted to tell the story. They aimed to remain as faithful to their research.
Q: Now, ZD30 is all set to be released in India. What do you think is going to appeal the Indian audience?
A: The movie was shot in India and there have been a lot of controversies there, regarding the recreation of Abbottabad in Chandigarh. So I am sure some people would want to see that. Besides that India has also witnessed terror attacks in the past because of which I guess Indians can very well relate to the 9/11 incident.
Q: You bring a very different type of mildness in Maya's character. Does this come from your background and upbringing or it's just another acting trait?
A: I have tried my level best to play the character the way it is supposed to be. She's someone who does not explain her subtext; she doesn't take the time to say how she feels.
Q: I think Maya is a reflection of contemporary American feminist movements. Do you agree with this?
A: I think Maya is the perfect representation of the women of today's generation. And both Kathryn and I were inspired by her strength and tenacity.
Q: When are we going to see you on-screen again?
A: At present I am waiting for my next release 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby'.