“The 355” star Jessica Chastain details for Carlos Bustamante the scariest stunt she performed while shooting the film. Plus, Chastain shares why her favourite aspect of the film was working with other actresses who also own the film.
Category: The 355
The 355 is coming, and Universal Pictures released a new trailer for the film. Enjoy watching it below!
Universal’s “The 355,” a female-led heist thriller starring Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o and Diane Kruger, has pushed its release date back a year.
The movie was initially set to open in theaters on Jan. 15, 2021, and will now debut on Jan. 14, 2022.
Simon Kinberg directed “The 355” from a script he wrote with Theresa Rebeck. The globe-trotting espionage thriller follows a group of international spies — a brigade that also includes Penelope Cruz and Fan Bingbing — who team up to stop a potentially world-altering event. Together, the five women form a faction called “355,” a nod to the assembly of female spies that united during the American Revolution. Edgar Ramirez and Sebastian Stan round out the cast.
Universal Pictures nabbed “The 355” after it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. The studio reportedly paid more than $20 million for domestic distribution rights.
Like every Hollywood studio, Universal has been forced to shake up the release calendar numerous times during the pandemic.
Jessica appears in the new issue of Total Film Magazine with an article about her new movie “The 355”. You can see the scans in the photo gallery, as well as a new promotional photo about the film.
The old adage goes, if you want a thing done well, do it yourself. That’s the approach Jessica Chastain has taken with The 355 – an all-new spy team movie that sees her unite with the likes of Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, Penelope Cruz, and Fan Bingbing in the name of international espionage. Except, the concept of an all-female spy team wasn’t something Chastain has seen done badly, per se, more that it hadn’t really been done properly. While former X-Men boss Simon Kinberg is director and co-writer on The 355, one of the driving forces behind the project has been Chastain herself, working behind the scenes as a producer, as well as placing CIA agent Mason ‘Mace’ Brown on screen.
“Instead of waiting for studios to do it, I think we have to take matters into our own hands,” she tells Empire in the new issue. “I thought, ‘What if I call a bunch of incredible actresses who I have always wanted to work with, and we all show up at Cannes together to raise the financing for the picture?’ So that’s what we did.”
With the aforementioned roster of co-stars, The 355 looks set to introduce a global spy team in which each member brings something different to the table. “I grew up in an era of spy films that felt really nationalistic, really insular,” Chastain explains. “I want to move away from nationalism. [In espionage] it’s a benefit to be diverse. Everyone’s uniqueness is their superpower. That’s why we chose the story we chose and the actors we chose.”
Read the full story about how Chastain willed The 355 into being by clicking here.
When Jessica Chastain received the MVP Award at the 2015 Critics Choice Awards for her performance in “Interstellar,” she spoke up about the lack of roles and stories for women across the industry. During a press conference following her speech, the actor-producer was asked, “What are your plans now on creating inclusivity?” That sparked the idea of founding her production company, Freckle Films.
“I went ‘well, okay, here I go. I need to put my money where my mouth is, and I need to start creating a company that will offer some opportunities for women and also highlight the stories that perhaps have been unheard and invisible,’” she said during a Variety Power of Women: Conversations event, presented by Lifetime and moderated by Kate Aurthur.
Last year, her company produced its first feature film, “The 355,” (now slated to debut in January 2021) that boasts actors including Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Chastain.
The project was first introduced to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, when Chastain found herself surrounded by action film posters featuring all-male ensembles. She looked around and said to her manager, “I have longed to work with other actresses. There’s so many people that I admire, but it feels like the industry doesn’t want us in a room together. Why do they never make stories with a group of women?”
So when casting “The 355,” Chastain put together a wish list of women actors she had hoped to collaborate with. “Everyone that I had asked to be a part of it were excited to be a part of it,” she said. “I said ‘the only thing is if you say yes, you’re the owner of the film which means you have to come to Cannes to sell the film’ — and they did.”
Kelly Carmichael, president of production at Freckle Films, explained that the creative process focused on providing opportunities for women actors to build characters they were interested in portraying in a spy film.
“Penélope Cruz, for example, had mentioned to us that she often had gotten stereotyped as this feisty Latina woman, and she wanted to play something else that showed another side of her personality that we haven’t seen her explore on screen,” added Chastain, pointing out that it was important for them to push against such typecasting practices.
Looking to the future, Chastain and Carmichael believe there are many more stories to tell with women actors and creatives. Reflecting on her initiative to produce movies, Chastain encouraged others to act toward the changes they hope to see: “You need to empower yourself, and you need to ask yourself what you can do in any industry. If you feel like there are injustice or there are flaws in a system you’re working in, change it; do what you can. Start making changes and people will follow.”
Jessica Chastain revealed that The 355 came out of seeing little to no action films featuring women ensembles. After learning about the women involved in international espionage while working on Zero Dark Thirty, the producer and star said she knew a story about women spies was worth telling.
During the New York Comic Con Saturday panel, Chastain joined The 355 co-stars Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbing to talk the impact they hope The 355 will have on audiences and the movie industry.
“My goals and dreams for The 355 is that we just accept the fact that women are awesome and tough and bada**,” Chastain said. “I’m excited for society to start acknowledging what’s happening in our world.”
The 355, directed by Simon Kinberg, kicks off when a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands. Wild card CIA agent Mason “Mace” Brown (Chastain) will need to join forces with rival badass German agent Marie (Kruger), former MI6 ally and cutting-edge computer specialist Khadijah (Nyong’o) and skilled Colombian psychologist Graciela (Cruz) on a lethal, breakneck mission to retrieve it, while also staying one-step ahead of a mysterious woman, Lin Mi Sheng (Fan) who is tracking their every move.
While the ideation of The 355 stemmed from her time working on Zero Dark Thirty, Chastain said the actual inspiration for the film’s title itself goes back to the 1860’s. She explained that the series of numbers was actually code for the first woman spy in the American Civil War, a woman who has since gone unnamed and under-appreciated. Given the significance of the numbers, Chastain said she and her co-stars think of the film’s title like a “badge of honor.”
The film, which sees the women face off against each other and eventually their common foes, required amounts of rehearsals and hours of combat training, Kruger said. While training for fight scenes is nothing uncommon for action films, especially those heavily featuring male ensembles, the stars also shared that they had to train to fight in heels and more feminine clothing than men.
Kruger said that working with a cast and crew on a film that centers women made she and her cast mates feel valued. She added that the women were even allowed to bring their children on set, which made production feel like a family. Fan, who said Chastain asked her to join the project shortly after serving on the Cannes jury, said that The 355 was an opportunity to learn from her fellow actresses.
When making a film, Chastain said she often thinks about how 13 year-old girls will feel. Citing The Martian and Interstellar, she said she’s proud to know that young girls can see women represented in impressive career paths and thrive in extraordinary circumstances.
“We all know that when you see examples of it that it’s possible, I wanted to show how important women are in society, especially in the international espionage field,” she said.
Theresa Rebeck and Kinberg wrote the script. The film is produced by Chastain and Kelly Carmichael for Chastain’s Freckle Films and by Kinberg for his Genre Films. Richard Hewitt exec produces. Huayi Brothers has Chinese distribution rights.
The Universal spy film is set to release domestically on Jan. 15.
You can also read the following articles related to New York Comic Con 2020.
The first trailer for ‘The 355’ is here, the espionage thriller that has an impressive cast immersed in action: Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Lupita Niong’o, Diane Kruger, and Fan Bingbing.
Written by Theresa Rebeck and Simon Kinberg, the story is set in motion when a top-secret weapon falls into the hands of mercenaries.
Wild-card CIA agent Mason “Mace” Brown (Jessica Chastain) forms a team, which includes German agent Marie (Diane Kruger), the former MI6 ally, and leading-edge informatics specialist Khadijah (Lupita Nyong’o), and an expert Colombian psychologist named Graciela (Penélope Cruz) to retrieve the weapon. However, her mission is hampered by a mysterious woman, Lin Mi Sheng (Fan Bingbing), who is following her every move.
As the action rockets around the globe from the cafes of Paris to the markets of Morocco to the wealth and glamour of Shanghai, the quartet of women will forge a tenuous loyalty that could protect the world—or get them killed.
The film also stars Sebastian Stan (Avengers: Endgame) and Edgar Ramírez (The Girl on the Train). And marks Kinberg’s second directing effort after his debut with the superhero sequel ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix.’
If there are no changes, the film is scheduled to hit theaters on January 15, 2021.
It’s a weird year for in-person events, so New York Comic Con 2020 is pushing ahead with a schedule of all virtual panels about the most interesting projects in movies, TV, and (of course) comics. EW will be covering the highlights from this year’s program, but on top of that, we’ll also be involved in the proceedings. EW is teaming up with ReedPop for three panels next weekend covering The Walking Dead, Black horror, and female spies.
The panel for “The 355” will take place on October 10 at 7:50 pm ET. EW staff writer Devan Coggan sits down with the female stars of the upcoming Universal spy thriller The 355 — Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, and Fan BingBing — to discuss filming explosive fight scenes and undercover espionage.
NYCC 2020 will livestream on YouTube from Oct. 8-11. Check out the full list of panels.