Jessica Chastain was forced to cut off all her hair when her quest to look like 'Annie' went wrong.

The 'Zero Dark Thirty' actress has confessed she tried to copy the fictional orphan's famous red perm from the hit 1982 musical but was forced to opt for a short pixie style instead when the chemical procedure damaged her hair.

She told InStyle magazine: ''I wanted to look like Annie for a time, so I got a terrible perm and had a curly red afro because the perm fired my hair. Then I cut it all off and had very short red hair.''

Despite damaging her locks, Jessica insists she is glad she tried to be different.

She added: ''I always stood out for my choices.''

The 38-year-old actress has grown to love her standout features including her flame-coloured locks and freckles, which she tried to hide as she was growing up, and is now happy to embrace her unique look as it makes her feel ''special''.

She previously said: ''When I was growing up, I would downplay anything that made me different: my freckles, my red hair, my cleft chin. But in the past 10 years, I've realized that these unique features are what make me interesting and special.''

Jessica's desire to be different is also evident in her career as she shuns roles that could be considered a ''stereotype'' and insists she will only play ''intelligent and strong'' women.

She explained: ''As an audience member I go to the movies a lot, and I want to see women portrayed like the ones I know - women who are really intelligent and strong and vulnerable. I'm not interested in playing stereotype.''