Jessica Chastain has outed herself as director Kathryn Bigelow's biggest fan.

The actress is the star of Kathryn's latest project, Zero Dark Thirty, but she's revealed that long before she was working alongside her, she was admiring the Oscar-winning director from afar.

"The main reason to make the film was to work with Kathryn Bigelow, she's always been a big hero of mine," she said.

"I loved Point Break - I grew up watching that film, I don't know how many times I've seen Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves!"

Jessica, who also starred in The Help and Tree Of Life, plays CIA analyst Maya in the film, which also stars Jason Clarke, Jennifer Ehle and Chris Pratt.

"We don't really see characters like this in movies, a lead female character defined by herself and not the men around her," Jessica said.

"She's not the victim of the villain of the piece and not the girlfriend."