Jessica Chastain learned to run like Tom Cruise from Sam Worthington.

The 'Zero Dark Thirty' actress admits she had bad form when sprinting and it wasn't until her 'The Debt' co-star gave her some pointers that she learned how to run like she was in an action movie.

She said: ''Sam Worthington, who I acted with in 'The Debt', had to teach me [how to run], because I used to look like such a wimp when I tried. He told me to think of Tom Cruise when he runs in movies - that's what I was aiming for!''

Despite perfecting her running technique, the 36-year-old star has another worry - she swims like an ''old lady''.

She explained: ''I mean, I can swim how an old lady swims, where you stick your head above the water and you just move your arms out like a frog. But not properly.''

Jessica also praised another co-star, Brad Pitt, with whom she starred in 'The Tree of Life', for being an inspiration to her career.

She said: ''Working with Brad Pitt [was a turning point]. He's too humble to make it obvious that he's giving you advice but I would watch him on the set and follow his example.''

The 'Mama' beauty is known for her luscious red hair, but says she ''hated'' her flame-coloured locks as a child and ''just wanted to look like everyone else''.

She added: ''Even when I first moved to Los Angeles, I don't think anyone knew what to do with me because I wasn't a typical 'babe'. But it's become my defining feature and now I adore it.''