The similarities between Zero Dark Thirty and Homeland are hard to miss: both are critically acclaimed, both star high caliber actresses in the lead role playing tough CIA agents [Claire Danes playing Carrie Matheson in Homeland and Jessica Chastain playing Maya in Zero Dark Thirty], and both are about catching terrorists. However, Homeland is about catching fictional terrorist Abu Nazir, whereas Zero Dark Thirty chronicles the true story of the Osama Bin Laden manhunt.
In an interview with USA Today, Jessica Chastain is asked whether she is facing the comparisons in interviews – she replies, "I am, which I find so interesting because it's like apples and oranges. One is based on a real person and another is a complete fictional character. The thing I love about Maya, when you look at women in films — lead female characters — it's very rare to see a woman not defined by the man in the film. Sometimes the woman's the victim of the villain or she's the girlfriend. Or the love interest. And Kathryn Bigelow, in true Kathryn Bigelow form, doesn't play that game."
Chastain also mentions, "The real Maya, (as) we're trying to tell the story, she became a servant to her work. Which meant Maya is a capable woman, intelligent and she completely stands on her own. I think she's a great representation of this generation of women. I haven't seen a character like this in movies in a long time, if ever."
Of course, both Chastain and Danes were nominated for Golden Globes this morning, and both are likely to walk away winners – Chastain for Best Actress in a Feature Film (Drama) and Danes for Best Actress in Television Drama.