"That's me walking along this plank," she casually explains in an interview from Wednesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, while watching footage from one of the film's particularly harrowing scenes that sees her leaping from a 22-foot ledge. "They were going to have the stunt person do it, and I was like, no, I have to do it!"
The preview pauses on a comical wince Chastain made after landing on the other side of the gap, and promises "that really hurt; that's not acting!"
She told DeGeneres that she agreed to do the scene as a trial, and would relinquish her duties to the stunt team if it ended up looking bad, but the moment remains in the film as is.
"We went past where I thought I was going to jump from and doubled the height. I got up there and looked down and saw the camera operators, the costume department, the entire crew just like looking up at me, and it was like, the only way I'm getting off this ledge is: I'm jumping!" she recalled.
Chastain — who's currently generating Oscar buzz for her performance in The Eyes of Tammy Faye — leads The 355's ensemble cast as a CIA agent who enlists the help of other international operatives (Diane Kruger, Penélope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, and Lupita Nyong'o) to recover a dangerous weapon from even more sinister hands.
Warner Bros. Jessica Chastain recounts a painful stunt from 'The 355.'
"I was seeing all these films with male action ensembles, but I'd never really seen a female action ensemble that took itself seriously [and] didn't make it silly that girls were actually good at the job," Chastain previously told EW of why she wanted to produce the film at New York Comic-Con in 2020. "My experience on making Zero Dark Thirty, I discovered how many women are in espionage and how often they're utilized. It kind of started from there, and I just went with a wish list of who I thought were the best actresses working today."
The 355 hits theaters Friday. Watch Chastain recount her epic stunt above at around 5 minutes in.
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