Espionage is the name of the game, and the cast of The 355 brought a heaping helping of that to NYCC 2020 Saturday. Cast members Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbing joined a lively discussion about Universal Pictures’ upcoming spy thriller.
Now, the panel opened with Chastain delving into what inspired her to conceive The 355. She regaled the audience with a story of her time serving as a judge for Cannes Film Festival. Chastain noticed an awful lot of male-centric spy movies traveling down the festival pipeline.
Suddenly, she was inspired to craft an all-female espionage thriller uplifting women from all walks of life. Women who kick ass and take names! Additionally, Chastain mentioned her time on Zero Dark Thirty, when she learned just how vital women were in the world of espionage. The actress teamed up with director Simon Kinberg to bring this vision to fruition.
The name for the film is a nod to a real-life woman who served as a spy during the American Revolution. To this day, history still doesn’t know her true name. She was only referred to as “The 355” amid her crucial service. Female agents nowadays take on the moniker in honor of her.
Next, the cast each proffered character descriptions and how they became involved with The 355. Kruger hailed the film set for providing a welcoming atmosphere and truly amplifying their voices. Fan became fast friends with Chastain while at Cannes. When the latter asked her if she wanted a part, Fan jumped at the chance. Chastain and Kruger also talked about filming a particularly grueling fight scene that turned out to be the former’s favorite in The 355.
Then, the floor was opened for fan questions. One enthusiastic fan, Sebastian Stan, asked Chastain what it was like working with him again. Of course, Stan may have just been fishing for compliments. He gushed about how The 355 was one of the most collaborative projects he’d ever joined. Another star-struck fan, Edgar Ramirez, asked the panel if there was one secret agent skill they wish they had. Nyong’o wished she had the ability to track anyone she wanted. Chastain longed to be adept at knowing when someone was lying. That would be a terrific skill to have at the moment!
The general consensus among these kick-ass ladies is that they hope young girls everywhere are encouraged by The 355. Chastain also hopes that Hollywood gets the message — women can be spies too. Women can do anything and everything. I’ll drink to that.
The 355 stars Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Dian Kruger, Fan Bingbing, Sebastian Stan, Edgar Ramirez and Penélope Cruz. Watch these women kick ass on January 15, 2021.