Jessica Chastain would like to be a mother "someday".

The red-haired actress has seen her career go from strength to strength since her big break in 2011 with her movie The Help.

The talented star is tipped for Oscar success at next month's ceremony for her role in Zero Dark Thirty, in which she plays CIA Agent Maya. In her new movie Mama, Jessica portrays another tough female role as her character Annabel is not maternal.

"I was nervous [about Mama]. I didn't want to make a movie that says women who chose not to have children are wrong. Or our purpose [as women] is to be mothers, because I don't necessarily think that's true," Jessica told British magazine Look.

"I hope to be a mother some day but if it doesn't happen, other wonderful things will."

Strong females have always been prominent in Jessica's life. It was her grandmother who encouraged her to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

"My grandmother Marilyn has been an incredible influence. She wanted to be an actress, but was told to marry and have children," Jessica continued. "When I was young she bought me ballet lessons and took me to my first play."

In Zero Dark Thirty Jessica's character Maya is obsessed with her job. Interestingly there is no romantic sub plot or love interest for Jessica's character to pursue.

"I'm used to seeing movies where the lead female characters are defined by the men in their lives. They're either the love interest, the victim or the villain," she finished.

"Maya is none of those things. You're able to see how much she invests herself in this mission. She's a very strong, capable and independent woman."