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Zero Dark Thirty begins on September 11 and spans a decade, touching on torture and the perils of an invisible war. In it, Chastain plays laser-focused CIA analyst Maya, whom director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal (who last paired for the Oscar-winning film, The Hurt Locker) based off a real female operative who helped mastermind the capture of Osama bin Laden.

At the Hollywood premiere held at the Dolby theater, Jennifer Ehle, who plays a similarly dedicated analyst, talked about the women she and Chastain take on. Both were heavily researched by Boal, and like all the characters in the film, are carefully distorted so as not to reveal the real operatives’ identities.

“I love that they’re women that are not defined by their relationship to a man, which is extremely unusual in a film, especially for a female protagonist, for the part Jessica plays,” she said. “They’re defined by their relationship with their work.”

The carpet was packed with actors who play Zero Dark Thirty’s Navy SEALs and CIA officers, including Jason Clarke, James Gandolfini, Kyle Chandler, Chris Pratt (who brought wife Anna Faris as his date), Mark Duplass and Edgar Ramirez.

Read more at USA Today

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