While the interrogation scenes featured in the film "Zero Dark Thirty" are hard to watch, filming them proved to be even more difficult on the actors themselves. 

In a recent interview with the Press-Telegram, Jessica Chastain - who recently earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her turn in the film as CIA agent Maya - says she had a hard time burying her real-life persona beneath her character's. 

"I've never played a part like this before," she admitted. "I'm a very, like, sensitive girl. I grew up in Northern California, kind of like a hippie. I've made Terrence Malick films, which are all about the heart space. I've made a lot of movies where the character was led by her heart: Celia Foote in "The Help" is an example.

This is a woman who is trained to be unemotional on the job and analytically precise. I've never really done anything like that -- especially since I've been trained to be emotional in my line of work."

The 35-year-old, who has been a vegan for over five years (and was recently named PETA's Sexiest Veg Celeb for 2012), says she overcame the hard scenes by trading uplifting ones with director Kathryn Bigelow. 

"During the week that we were filming the interrogations, we sent each other videos of animals being rescued. It was so emotional for me because I rescue dogs and so does she. That's the kind of stuff that was going on behind the scenes. Like, this is not our lives, we are not these characters, there's a place that is waiting for us."

Need you own pick me up? Here are 10 inspiring dog rescue videos courtesy of Buzzfeed. A trailer for "Zero Dark Thirty," which opens nationwide this weekend, is below. 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Animal rescue clips helped 'Zero Dark Thirty' star cope with filming
Jessica Chastain says she and director Kathryn Bigelow reduced stress on set by sending each other uplifting videos of animal rescues.