Jessica Chastain has revealed that she would never have been able to star in Zero Dark Thirty, the film that earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination and elevated her to leading lady status, were it not for Tom Cruise. 

While promoting her latest film, The Zookeeper's Wife, Chastain was quizzed about how she came to be cast in Kathryn Bigelow's 2012 drama which focuses on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. 

The star revealed that she said yes immediately without even reading the script when Bigelow came calling but there was one stumbling block. She was already contracted to star opposite Tom Cruise in Oblivion

“I was contractually obligated to do something else that I was really wanting to do, and I was excited to do [the 2013 thriller Oblivion, starring Cruise]. But when this came my way, I realized I had to do this. And the person who made it possible for me to do this movie is Tom Cruise. Someone contacted him from my agency and said, ‘Listen, she wants to work with you. And she would love to, but there is this other film, and it’s so important.’ And he said, ‘OK, we’re going to let you out of your contract.’ ”