Here’s your first look at Annette Bening and Jodie Foster in Netflix’s inspiring LGBTQ+ drama Nyad

The first stills of Annette Bening and Jodie Foster in Netfilx’s adaption of the remarkable story of legendary long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad have been released.

Nyad is adapted from the swimmer’s memoir, Find a Way, and tells the story of how she, at the age of 60, committed to tackling the “Mount Everest” of swims: a 110-mile ocean marathon from Cuba to Florida.

Billed as a “true story of tenacity, friendship and the triumph of the human spirit”, Nyad stars four-time Academy Award nominee Bening as the athlete, with Foster, who won best actress Oscars for Silence of the Lambs and The Accused, as her best friend and coach Bonnie Stoll. 

Determined to become the first person to finish the swim without a shark cage, Nyad goes on a four-year journey to complete the feat and achieve her dream. 

Bringing Nyad’s incredible story of human endurance to the screen was no easy task for Bening, as intense preparation for the role saw her push her body and mind to new limits. 

Annette Bening as Diana Nyad. (Netflix)

The 65-year-old star, who previously appeared in American Beauty and Being Julia, hired former Olympic swimmer Rada Owen to help her train for the role and embody Nyad’s physicality accurately. 

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“She wouldn’t take the role unless she was prepared to do the work,” Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, the film’s co-director, told Vanity Fair. “That was daunting to her. She knew herself that she would have to learn to swim that way – and she wasn’t necessarily the best swimmer.”

And Foster, who has been married to photographer Alexandra Hedison since 2014, revealed: “Annette faced all the hardest challenges: swimming in the water for hours and hours, stomaching salt water, fluctuating body temperatures, wearing that weird silicone mask, long hours in every weather condition, day and night – and all of it in a bathing suit. That’s my worst nightmare.”

Jodie Foster plays Nyad’s coach Bonnie Stoll, alongside Rhys ifans. (Netflix)

For Vasarhelyi and her co-director and husband Jimmy Chin, Nyad is a first foray into narrative directing. 

No novices to telling stories about the power of human endurance – they won the 2019 Academy Award for best documentary feature for Free Solo, about climber Alex Honnold – the couple said they were drawn to Nyad because it connects with their storytelling interests. 

Like the body of the rest of their work, the story “defies the frontiers of what you can imagine”, Vasarhelyi said. 

“We love telling these stories where somebody’s pushing the edge of the human experience,” Chin told Vanity Fair. “We hope when audiences leave the theatre, they feel like they’ve gotten an expanded perspective of the human experience.” 

The film is based on the true story of Diana Nyad. (Netflix)

Nyad will be in selected cinemas on 20 October and available to stream on Netflix from 3 November.