Stephen Colbert eased up on the silliness just a little bit for his interview with "Zero Dark Thirty" director Kathryn Bigelow on Tuesday, as he zeroed in on the controversy surrounding the film's depiction of torture-based interrogation.
Colbert specifically mentioned a scene in which the film's protagonist, played by Jessica Chastain, assembles information gleaned by torture, and then asked Bigelow, "Was that given to you as accurate information?"
"I have to say, it's part of the history, part of the story," she replied. "Could you have found the house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, without the detainee program? I don't know. I don't know if we'll ever know."
The film's material has been questioned by both ex-intelligence officials and U.S. lawmakers. Bigelow told Colbert she was "spooked" by the prospect of being called to testify before Congress.
She also expressed her distaste for torture, but said the subject would be debated for years to come.
"I would call this movie kind of the first draft of history, or maybe the first rough cut of history," Bigelow said, a sentiment Colbert was quick to share in jest, likening it to another controversial film, Mel Gibson's "The Passion Of The Christ."
"Americans don't read books," he said. And this depiction of the torture, the investigation, the catching of bin Laden, is going to be our record, just as surely as Jim Caviezel died for our sins."
Watch an extended version of Colbert's interview with Bigelow, posted on his show's website Tuesday night, below.