Filed Appearances & Events News & Articles The 355

Why Jessica Chastain Founded Freckle Films and Made “The 355” – Variety: Power of Women

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.”

Source: Variety.com

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Filed Mothers’ Instinct News & Articles

Jessica Chastain & Anne Hathaway to star in Thriller “Mothers’ Instinct” about rival 1960’s Housewives

Euro financier Anton is launching sales on buzzy AFM package Mothers’ Instinct, which will star Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain and Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway as 1960’s housewives whose relationship takes a dark turn.

The psychological thriller will follow best friends and neighbors Alice (Chastain) and Celine (Hathaway) who both live an idyllic traditional lifestyle with manicured lawns, successful husbands and sons of the same age. Life’s perfect harmony is suddenly shattered after a tragic accident. Guilt, suspicion and paranoia combine to unravel their sisterly bond and a psychological battle of wills begins as the maternal instinct reveals its darker side.

Writer-director Olivier Masset-Depasse will helm the feature, which is an English-language remake of his 2018 Belgian movie Duelles, which won a record nine Magritte Awards from the Belgian Academy including Best Film and Best Director.

The film is based on the novel Derrière La Haine by novelist Barbara Abel. Writer Sarah Conradt (50 States of Fright) is adapting the English-language script.

Pic is being produced by Jessica Chastain and Kelly Carmichael of Chastain’s Freckle Films (The 355), and Paul Nelson at Mosaic and Jacques-Henri Bronckart (The Nun).

CAA Media Finance arranged the film’s financing and is representing the project’s domestic rights alongside Anton. Producer and financier Anton will fully finance and executive-produce the project with Anton’s founder and CEO Sébastien Raybaud overseeing the project with John Zois, Anton’s EVP Acquisitions and Co-Productions, who negotiated the deal with CAA.

Anton’s President of International Production and Distribution, Cecile Gaget, will oversee worldwide sales at the online AFM.

Writer and director Masset-Depasse (Illegal) stated: “It takes actors of Jessica and Anne’s caliber to communicate the intricacy of these two roles. The relationship between a mother and child is the most powerful connection between two human beings. When this bond is severed, it calls into question conventional morality and even sanity. In the behind-closed-doors atmosphere of 1960’s America, Mothers’ Instinct becomes a terrifying, high-pressure powder keg.”

Anton Founder and CEO, Sébastien Raybaud commented: “Audiences could not wish for a more dynamic match-up on screen. Both character roles are wonderfully complex and will showcase Jessica and Anne’s incredible breadth of talent. Olivier has already proven adept at this twist on the Hitchcockian genre and we have great faith in his ability to deliver a compelling thriller.”

Chastain recently began production opposite Oscar Isaac on Scenes From A Marriage, an adaption of Ingmar Bergman’s 1970s miniseries for HBO. She recently wrapped The Eyes Of Tammy Faye and The Forgiven.

Hathaway can currently be seen in Robert Zemeckis’ update of The Witches and upcoming has Sesame Street and Lockdown.

Hathaway is repped by CAA, Suzan Bymel at Management 360, and by Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Chastain is represented by CAA, Paul Nelson at Mosaic, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman, and Imprint PR.

Source: Deadline.com

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Filed News & Articles Scenes From A Marriage

Jessica Chastain Re-Teams With Oscar Isaac In HBO Series “Scenes From A Marriage”

Jessica Chastain will reunite with Oscar Isaac to star in Scenes From A Marriage, the HBO limited series adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s miniseries. Deal came together after Michelle Williams exited the lead female role over scheduling issues. Limited series comes from Our Boys and The Affair co-creator Hagai Levi, Michael Ellenberg’s Media Res and Endeavor Content.

Levi is writing and directing a series adaptation that re-examines the show’s iconic depiction of love, hatred, desire, monogamy, marriage and divorce through the lens of a contemporary American couple, played by Isaac and Chastain. Ingmar Bergman wrote and directed the original 1973 Swedish miniseries, which starred Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson. Bergman’s teleplay, the story of the disintegration of a marriage, drew on his own experiences, including his relationship with Ullmann.

Levi executive produces with Ellenberg via Media Res, Lars Blomgren (The Bridge), Isaac, Daniel Bergman, Blair Breard and Amy Herzog. The series is a co-production with Media Res and Endeavor Content, and Isaac and Chastain are also exec producers.

The deal reunites Chastain with Isaac. Classmates at Julliard and longtime friends, they starred together in 2014’s A Most Violent Year. Shooting will begin soon.

Source: Deadline.com

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Filed Movies The Forgiven

First look of “The Forgiven”

Focus Features has pre-bought worldwide rights excluding North America to Ralph Fiennes-Jessica Chastain starrer The Forgiven, which has finally wrapped shoot.

Joining the previously announced Fiennes, Chastain, Said Taghmaoui (La Haine) and Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men: First Class) in the drama are Matt Smith (The Crown), Christopher Abbott (The Sinner), Ismael Kanater (Queen Of The Desert), Marie-Josée Croze (Munich), Alex Jennings (The Crown) and Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road).

John Michael McDonagh (The Guard) directs and adapted Lawrence Osborne’s novel, which explores the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of an Anglo-American couple, their friends and the local Moroccans, who all converge on a luxurious desert villa during a decadent weekend-long party.

In the first half of 2020 the picture shot on location in Morocco before being suspended close to the end of shoot due to the global outbreak. Following disruption to air travel, the producers had to charter planes at short notice to fly the cast and crew home. With financial assistance from the BFI COVID-19 Production Continuation Fund and additional finance from the producers, LipSync Productions and Focus, the shoot restarted back in Morocco last month after a six month pause and has now completed production.

Focus Features has yet to release an official date for “The Forgiven”, but it is believed to premiere in 2021. You can see the first-look photo below:

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Filed News & Articles

Jessica Chastain Joins CMT Awards as Presenter

Jessica joins the CMT Music Awards as a presenter alongside other celebrities including Brandi Carlile, Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, Tanya Tucker, Kelly Clarkson, Idina Menzel, Diplo and Rob Thomas. Also Taylor Swift, Ashley McBryde, Kane Brown and Sarah Hyland.

The host and presenter announcements closely follow CMT’s final reveal of performers who’ll appear on the show.

The show airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 pm. CT on CMT.

Source: Variety.com

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Filed Interviews Talk Shows

Jessica Chastain at Late Night with Seth Meyers

Jessica Chastain explains what it is like to quarantine with her grandmother, discusses the inspiration behind her female-centered new film The 355 and talks about what it was like filming during the pandemic.

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Filed Appearances & Events Interviews The 355

New York Comic Con 2020 – The 355 Cast Interview | Entertainment Weekly’s Women Who Kick Ass

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.

Source: Deadline.com


You can also read the following articles related to New York Comic Con 2020.

  • EW.com: The women of The 355 break down their action-packed spy thriller at New York Comic Con.
  • Syfy.com: The 355 NYCC panel reveals the thrilling secret significance of the movie’s title.
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Filed Movies The 355

“The 355” Official Trailer + Photos

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.

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Filed News & Articles The 355

EW’s New York Comic Con 2020 panels to feature women of The 355

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.

Source: EW.com

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