This exclusive trailer for Miss Sloane (in theaters Dec. 9) begins exactly the same way as the film itself does, with a tight close-up of the indefatigable Jessica Chastain staring straight into the camera.

Making a ballistic analogy for the two-time Oscar-nominated actress’ eyes wouldn’t be entirely wrong in the case of this movie. Directed by John Madden, who worked with Chastain five years ago on The Debt, the political thriller engages with the national gun debate as a key part of its plot about the influence of lobbyists in Washington.

In the title role, Chastain stars as a lobbyist on the brink of personal and professional burnout. She appears in practically every scene of the film, as you can already tell from her presence in the trailer. For Madden, that was a big part of what drew him to the project. “The central character might be familiar to audiences had that person been a man,” the director says. “In this case, it’s a woman and the movie is totally framed around that character. She is the engine of the movie.”

And Madden delighted at the opportunity to work with Chastain again. “The first moment I read the script I thought that the role belonged to Jessica,” he says. “She has a reputation now as an actor that’s in a class — and people expect to see a level of performance from her that’s commanding and detailed and unusual. From tremendous strength and drive on the one hand and fragility and vulnerability on the other. And the scale on this film calls for both of those two things.”

You’ll also spot a high-pedigree bench of supporting actors in the film, including Mark Strong (Chastain’s costar in Zero Dark Thirty), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights), Sam Waterson, John Lithgow, and Michael Stuhlbarg. But this is Chastain’s show all the way — and her ferocious, nervy performance in this provocative think-piece thriller should put her name in the conversation all through the coming awards season.

The trailer will play in theaters this coming weekend before Bridget Jones’s Baby, but check out the EW exclusive debut (above) and Miss Sloane‘s official poster (below).

Miss Sloane
  • Movie
  • 132 minutes