The first official trailer for Seberg begins like any ordinary Hollywood starlet biopic, starting with Kristen Stewart, in the role of the titular French New Wave Icon, Jean Seberg, fielding questions from interviewers about her role in Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless and who she really is when she’s not on-screen. As it turns out, probing reporters aren’t the only ones desperately trying to learn more about Seberg’s personal life; so is the FBI, which goes from dismissing Seberg raising her fist in solidarity with the Black Panther Party as “some actress just grabbing some free publicity” to launching a full-on investigation into her support of the civil rights movement.
Upon discovering that Seberg has “a history of donations to civil rights groups” like the NAACP, the FBI embarks on a mission: “Our job is to cheapen her image in the eyes of the public,” an agent says—words that actually did appear almost verbatim in an FBI inter-office memo about Seberg in real life. A key part of that is zeroing in on Seberg’s (brief) affair with Hakim Jamal, a married Black Panther and cousin of Malcolm X played by Anthony Mackie, going so far as to plant false stories claiming that he was the father of Seberg’s unborn child.
Naturally, as the FBI steps up its efforts, bugging Seberg’s home and tapping her phones, the actress grows increasingly frantic. She soon suspects the government—correctly, of course. (There are even records of J. Edgar Hoover reporting to President Nixon on her case, which was one of many covert, illegal surveillance operations targeting activists like Martin Luther King Jr.) Meanwhile, pretty much everyone around her—the cast includes Margaret Qualley, Zazie Beetz, Vince Vaughn, and Jack O’Connell—also starts to spiral. Get a first look at the film, which hits theaters on December 13, below.
A Look Back at the Style of Jean Seberg, the American to First Master French Girl Fashion
Jean Seberg in In The French Style, 1963.
Jean Seberg in A Fine Madness, 1966.
Jean Seberg and Claude Rich in Diamonds Are Brittle, 1965.
Jean Seberg and Stephen Boyd in Kill, 1971.
Sean Garrison and Jean Seberg in Moment to Moment, 1965.
Jean Seberg in The Mouse That Roared, 1959.
Jean Seberg in Saint Joan, 1957.
Jean Seberg in Lilith, 1964.
Jean Seberg and Christian Marquand in Love Play, 1960.
Jean Seberg and George Peppard in Pendulum, 1969.
Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg in Backfire, 1964.
Jean Seberg in Bonjour Tristesse, 1958.
Jean Seberg and Sean Connery in A Fine Madness, 1966.