The 355: Jessica Chastain Talks Producing the Action Film Mid-Pandemic

The 355 hit theaters this week, and despite its star-studded cast, the film hasn't been met with the most positive reviews from critics. The movie currently has a 26% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes after 141 reviews. However, the movie's audience score is currently at a much more impressive 82% after 100+ reviews. Whether or not you loved the movie, there's an interesting story about how Jessica Chastain brought together Lupita Nyong'o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger, Bingbing Fan, and Sebastian Stan. During a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Chastain spoke about coming up with the idea and the struggles of producing the movie film in the pandemic. 

"As a producer, every step of the way this movie was hard," Chastain revealed. "I'm not gonna like sugarcoat, it wasn't easy. The actors made it easy, but you know, we made it out of nothing. We made it outside of a studio system independently for a fraction of the cost of what this normally would be. All of the actresses are the owners of the film, but there's a lot in there that I didn't understand. I mean I was self-financing things ... You didn't know until the money came in through the bonds. Like I've signed hundreds of contracts. All of our post was during the pandemic. I've actually never even seen it with an audience. So it's really like nothing about it in terms of the nuts and bolts of the movie was easy. But the saving grace for me where the people I got to work with."

"It was my idea to make the movie," Chastain added. "So I had the idea that I called all the actresses. I talked to [writer/director] Simon [Kingberg] and it was just kind of like, 'All right, let's all develop it together and create the characters.' So,  I told him my idea, I told him the actresses that I thought would be great for it and he was like, 'This is a great idea, let's make this movie.'" 

In The 355, when a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands, wild card CIA agent Mason 'Mace' Brown (Jessica Chastain) will need to join forces with rival badass German agent Marie (Diane Kruger), former MI6 ally and cutting-edge computer specialist Khadijah (Lupita Nyong'o), and skilled Colombian psychologist Graciela (Penélope Cruz) on a lethal, breakneck mission to retrieve it, while also staying one-step ahead of a mysterious woman, Lin Mi Sheng (Bingbing Fan), who is tracking their 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.

Dark Phoenix helmer Simon Kinberg directs The 355 from a script he co-wrote alongside Theresa Rebeck. Chastain and Kelly Carmichael produce for Chastain's Freckle Films and Kinberg produces for his Genre Films. The film is executive produced by Richard Hewitt. 

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The 355 is now playing in theaters.