Lupita Nyong’o, no stranger to badass roles, up now in Universal’s women-fronted spy film, The 355.
Tessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Cruger, Fan Bingbing, Sebastian Stan and Edgar Ramirez. It is directed by Simon Kinberg from a Theresa Rebeck-penned script.
The official description: A dream team of formidable female stars come together in a hard-driving original approach to the globe-trotting espionage genre in The 355. 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. 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.
“What drew me to the project was the realization that there had not yet really been a spy thriller of this nature with women at the helm,” Nyong’o said in a recent interview with S&A. “Jessica Chastain called me to propose the idea to me and I was shocked to learn [that I hadn’t really seen] women at the helm of a movie like this. And obviously, it’s not true of the real world because we know that there have been female [spies].”
The name of the movie has real-world meaning as well. “I mean, even just the name 355, that code was the code for the first female American spy,” explained the actress. “So it just does not reflect the reality. And so I love to tell a story that shifts our idea of what our reality is and what is possible. And for those reasons, I thought it was a good idea to come on board and it didn’t hurt that there were such great actors who were going to be doing the project that I would be doing the project with.”
Talking about her character, Khadijah, Nyong’o said she’s like “the computer wiz of this bunch.”
“She’s extremely intelligent and extremely well versed with the world of hacking and digitalia, I’d like to say, and I’ve never played a character like that. She’s very, very focused…wound, but not tight. And I like that about her. She was very intimidating for me to play because she’s a lot smarter in an area than I am not smart at all. I mean, the other day I was trying to connect to my Bluetooth speaker [laughs]. So I can’t troubleshoot to save my life. So to play someone who’s adept at these things and with all that computer talk, jargon that I had to learn and seem fluent in, those were all challenges that I had to overcome.”
“I hope that viewers are excited and inspired by these women who put their differences aside to come together to achieve this one goal that is for the good of the world,’ she continued. “I think that’s always a good message to put out there. You can go farther together than alone. And I hope that people are just extremely psyched to experience. These movies, yes, you want to learn something from them, but you also just want to have a really good time. And hopefully, this movie offers that.
The 355 is in theaters now. Watch the interview below: