"If I ever ask you for anything it’s to speak with you for five minutes … just five minutes."
Jessica Chastain received that mysterious text from producer Megan Ellison in 2011, completely unaware that director Kathryn Bigelow had been trying to gauge her interest in playing Maya, the lead CIA operative heading the hunt for Osama bin Laden in "Zero Dark Thirty."
"I thought, 'Wow. That’s super-dramatic,' " Chastain remembers of the message.
She called Ellison immediately and learned a few details about the movie -- but not many. Secrecy shrouded the project, and Chastain didn't know the full dimensions of the role until Ellison sent her the screenplay. After reading a few pages, Chastain realized she was being offered the part of a lifetime.
"As an actor, I always look for characters I haven’t played before or characters that have opposites in them or characters we haven’t really seen before, and I found all of those in Maya," the Oscar-nominated Chastain said in a video interview, above, the first segment of a three-part conversation.