Jessica Chastain on mining for details and feminism's new moment in 'Zero Dark Thirty'
She pauses and needlessly apologizes. "Sorry. I talk a lot about acting because I really love it. So if I start talking too long you can just cut me off."
But that spotlight and, indeed, reliance on the character's actions above where she comes from or who she is in a contextual sense is in some ways the essence of cinema. "Shakespeare's even like that," Chastain's co-star Jason Clarke said in a separate interview. "The thought is on the line. There's not subtext; it's just there in the line. What you say is what you mean and what you mean is what you do…You are the sum of all your actions."
Which brings us to that single tear by film's end, and a closing line Chastain has frequently noted as resonant for both the character and the greater themes of the film.
"It's not just like a propaganda, 'Go America,' fist-pumping thing," she says. "It ends with a question. 'Where do you want to go?' And she doesn't know. There's an emptiness. And it's more than just her because it represents us as the audience. Where do we go now that we've killed bin Laden?"
Maybe we go into a certain state of reflection. Much has been made of the film's depiction of torture, leading it to become a political football amongst agenda-driven outlets looking to kick it around. But the depth of its matter-of-fact handling in the script is what resonated for Chastain.