Lupita Nyong’o is not a stranger to action. She’s fought zombies in Little Monsters and dominated Marvel screens as the Wakandan warrior spy Nakia in Black Panther. Now, in this week’s release of the film The 355, Nyong’o is joining an international team of secret agents to stop a powerful weapon from falling into the wrong hands.
Nyong’o plays former MI6 agent and cyber expert Khadijah who joins CIA agent Mace (Jessica Chastain), German operative Marie (Diane Kruger), and Colombian psychologist Graciela (Penelope Cruz) in the fight. She is initially hesitant in joining the fray as she has established her own life outside of that world. Now, all of that is at risk as she returns to the spy life.
Of course, chaos ensues in the story and Nyong’o’s character has maintained her composure throughout the film. As the only Black woman on the team — one of the few women of color as well, Nyong’o understands how it looks for the “strong Black woman” to always have to have it together. But, she says for Khadijah, it made sense for her.
“There are moments in a woman’s life where you need to hold it together and you have no choice but to hold it together,” says Nyong’o in an interview with The Nerds of Color. “That is something to admire. As much as it is, not the only story we should tell for women of any demographic. I definitely think there is room for other reactions and other responses in [these] situation[s].”
We discussed more on the emotional aspect of the character and how playing this character was very different for her.
Check it out below:
The 355 premieres on January 7 in theaters everywhere.