Interview: Niki Caro Talks 'The Zookeeper's Wife', Jessica Chastain's Way With Animals, & More

If you're an actress looking for an Oscar nomination, a good way to do it is by working with Niki Caro. The New Zealand director broke onto the scene with 2002's Whale Rider, which earned then 13-year-old Keisha Castle-Hughes a Best Actress nomination. That was followed by Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand's Oscar contending turns in North Country. Whether her latest film, the Holocaust drama The Zookeeper's Wife, does the same for star Jessica Chastain remains to be seen. And what about some supporting awards for all of those furry and super cute zoo animals they had running around on set?

The film tells the true story of Antonina and Jan Zabinska, who converted their Warsaw Zoo into a waystation for escaping Jews after the Nazi invasion of Poland during WWII. It's an incredible story that I had never heard before, and Caro talks about her first time hearing of it, and the responsibility she felt in telling it. She also talks about Chastain's way with the animals on set, calling her an "animal whisperer", and discusses why she may not be in a hurry to do another movie in New Zealand.

You can listen to the interview below, and also check out my review here. The Zookeeper's Wife is in theaters now.