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Characters / Zero Dark Thirty

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CIA

    Maya 

Maya

Portrayed By: Jessica Chastain

A young CIA analyst who is determined to hunt down Osama bin Laden.


  • Action Girl: Averted. She isn't a field agent, though that doesn't mean she's still badass.
  • Badass Boast: "I am the motherfucker who found this place". She dares to tell it in front of her very superior, yet he seemed very impressed.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sure she is. She mentioned Gandalf when a prisoner described an old man with a grey beard.
  • The Determinator: Since her start in 2003, Maya will never stop at anything from searching Bin Laden. She yelled at superiors and reminded how long it passed since she made a request.
  • Emotionless Girl: Only shows emotions a few times but only related to the capture of Bin Laden and is very snarky, though she had a few laughters with Navy SEAL Justin's jokes. Then at the end, we finally see her most sincere emotion.
  • Married to the Job: Bin Laden is her only obsession. No partners, no hobbies, not even one night stands, nothing seems to distract her.
  • It's Personal: When Jessica gets killed, she has a Heroic BSoD claiming that she will "smoke off everyone inside this op" and then she's gonna kill Bin Laden.
  • Fiery Redhead: And how. She is a full determinator that doesn't care to yell at anyone.
  • The Napoleon: Jessica Chastain's tiny stature (5' 4"/163 cm) combined with Fiery Redhead is this. Most of Maya's male co-workers tower her over 20 cm/7", yet she's a explosive redhead who is unafraid to say anything to anyone.
  • Now What?: After spending nine years searching for Bin Laden, Maya goes aboard a plane and doesn't even know what to answer when the plane pilot asks if she wants to go to a specific place.
  • Single Tear: At the end, after all is finished and returns home. That's the only time we see a clear view of Maya's most inner emotions.
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    Dan 

Dan

Portrayed By: Jason Clarke

A CIA operative and Torture Technician.


  • Affably Evil: Dan is a very likable and jovial guy, even when he's torturing someone. He always reminds his prisoners that he is their friend but if they don't collaborate he will hurt them.
  • The Mentor: To Maya.
  • Pet the Dog: He is very fond of his pet monkeys. They are the only thing that remind his humanity. Once the new government (the Obama administration) rises to power and his pet monkeys are sacrificed, he resigns in Eastern territory and returns to the USA.
  • Torture Technician: His main job in the first part of the film. It ranges from water torture, naked humiliation, music at high volumes for long periods and claustrophobia.

    Jessica 

Jessica

Portrayed By: Jennifer Ehle

Another CIA analyst and Maya's best friend.


  • Sacrificial Lion: Her death makes Maya's search for Bin Laden to It's Personal territory.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Her overconfidence that she may found a possible clue to find Bin Laden in a supposed collaborator when it was actually a suicide attacker and dying in the process. Didn't she see that black cat or what?

    George 

George

Portrayed By: Mark Strong

A CIA superior.


    CIA Director 

CIA Director

Portrayed By: James Gandolfini

The boss.


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US Navy

    Patrick 

Patrick

Portrayed By: Joel Edgerton

The leader of the Navy SEALs.


    Justin 

Justin

Portrayed By: Chris Pratt

A Navy SEAL sent to raid Bin Laden's compound.


  • Black Comedy Rape: He jokes about it if he raids the wrong place instead of Bin Laden's and gets sent to prison.
  • Motor Mouth: From all the SEALs he loves to talk a lot and make jokes.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he suddenly kills a child inside Bin Laden's compound.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: He is the one who loves to tell lots of jokes even if it involves Black Humor. At least, Maya has some fun listening to him.

    Saber 

Saber

Portrayed By: Callan Mulvey

One of the many Navy SEALs that raided the compound.


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Other

    National Security Advisor 

National Security Advisor

Portrayed By: Stephen Dillane


  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: like the CIA director, this is a public figure whose name is well known but only credited as his title.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: He is the main contact to the government yet he doesn't want to give the order to attack what is the possible hideout of Bin Laden much to George's disdain and stress.

    OBL 

Osama bin Laden

Portrayed By: Ricky Sekhon

The world's most wanted man until 2011.


  • Big Bad: Of the film. Maya is so determined to capture (or kill) him for the serious impact he and his terrorist organization has done to the world.
  • The Ghost: Always mentioned but never seen. At the end, the audience gets small glimpses of his face after his corpse is retreated from the compound. It's all left to the audience to guess it if that was him.
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