Diane Kruger Says Jessica Chastain ‘Made Sure’ The 355 Actresses All Got ‘Paid the Same’

Diane Kruger Says Jessica Chastain 'Made Sure' The 355 Actresses All Got 'Paid the Same'

Diane Kruger says her The 355 costar and producer Jessica Chastain ensured parity among the female co-leads of the action film.

The star told Women’s Health about training for the spy movie, which sees her as a German agent who teams up with elite spies from countries around the world to take down a common enemy. The cast also features Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz and Bingbing Fan, Sebastian Stan and Edgar Ramírez.

“It felt great to work with girls, and there was no weirdness on set. Jessica made sure all of the actresses were paid the same; we all own a piece of the movie,” said Kruger, 45. “Regardless of how the film does, it was one of the most complete experiences.”

“Being able to be heard and valued is so important — not just in what I do, but everywhere,” she added.

She also explained how it was a welcome environment to her as a new working mom: “One thing that was wonderful about this film was that many of us were mothers. We were allowed to bring our children to set and had a trailer for the kids. That was a lovely thing, where you can sense that the producer is a woman with a child.”

Diane Kruger Women's Health Magazine

Diane Kruger Women’s Health Magazine
Credit: Caleb & Gladys for Women’s Health

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Kruger said Chastain, 44, also wanted to make sure the action sequences were “just as fierce” as their male counterparts in other spy films.

“Jessica really wanted to make it closer to a Bourne franchise,” she said. “She and the director, Simon Kinberg, wanted the stunts to be just as fierce as a man would make them, without making a big deal out of it.”

Kinberg told Women’s Health, “There’s a centerpiece fight between Diane and Jessica, and the two of them really wanted to do the fight themselves, without relying on fight doubles. So they worked overtime, after wrap and on weekends to get the moves down.”

Chastain has been advocating for fair pay in Hollywood for years. Octavia Spencer revealed in 2018 that Chastain, whom she worked with on 2011’s The Help, helped her get five times her asking salary for a project they were doing together.

“I love that woman because she’s walking the walk and she’s actually talking the talk,” Spencer said of Chastain at the time. “She said, ‘Octavia we’re gonna get you paid on this film. You and I are gonna be tied together. We’re gonna be favored nations, and we’re gonna make the same thing.’ Fast forward to last week, we’re making five times what we asked for.”

the 355

the 355
Credit: Universal Pictures

Chastain spoke to W back in 2017 about how important it was for her to start producing and “spread the wealth.”

“We’re working to develop projects for women about women and hire more female writers and directors, and also minorities who haven’t had the opportunity to tell their stories,” Chastain said at the time.

“That’s very important to me. … It is very important for me to take all the gifts that I’ve been given — because I’ve been given a lot of attention very fast — and spread the wealth a little bit, and now maybe point everyone in a direction of incredible female filmmakers or writers that I feel should be getting more work.”

The 355 is in theaters on Jan. 7.