Actress Jessica Chastain has revealed the CIA agent who inspired her character in Zero Dark Thirty was passed over for promotion after helping to track down terrorist leader Osama bin Laden - because she was so unpopular.
Chastain won a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of tough-as-nails Maya in the Kathryn Bigelow film, and she has admitted the character is based on a real person who she cannot identify.
But, during an appearance on The Daily Show on Wednesday night, Chastain revealed her muse is not a CIA golden girl, despite the fact she is responsible for the death of bin Laden.
She said, "This is a real woman in the CIA. She is working undercover, so it's very important that we keep her identity a secret, but there's articles written about her; The Washington Post wrote about her where they spoke to her colleagues and said she wasn't the most popular person in the CIA and in fact she was passed over for promotion.
"If someone's wrong, she'll tell them. She doesn't play politics. And a colleague said, 'Well, if you don't get a promotion for finding Osama bin Laden, what gets you a promotion in the CIA?'"
Chastain admits she has never even spoken with the woman who inspired Maya - because the agent could face jail time for opening up about what she does in secret.