Molly’s Game, is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested by the FBI. The holiday season at the movie theater will be lighter in tone compared to recent years, and although there are a few adult themes and a brutal scene involved the main character being physically assaulted, there are more than a few scenes that will make you smile.
Sorkin once stated that casting Idris Elba and Jessica Chastain in a movie together would be any “filmmaker’s dream come true” and hailed them as “two of the greatest actors of their generation”. It’s hard to argue with that considering that they bring intensive energy into any role they are given. While Jessica Chastain plays former Olympic skier, Molly Bloom, Idris Elba takes on the role of her reluctant lawyer, Charlie Jaffey. The character can’t understand why Molly would opt to take the hard road by not releasing sensitive information on some of the high level public figures that took part in her poker games, but becomes her biggest ally. Three of those players as revealed in Molly’s autobiography were that of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, and Tobey Maguire.
Screen Rant sat down with the two leads to speak about their experience working with first time director Aaron Sorkin, being considered for the sequel to IT, and their thoughts on the current climate in Hollywood.
SR: Aaron Sorkin, this is the first movie that he has directed. Tell me about how it was to work with him and how his directing style might differ from some of the other ones he worked with?
Idris Elba: I think actually, he was really relaxed as a director, you know? I thought he, I actually did think he was going to be very, you know, sort of preventing about stuff from precious about the words and what not. H was very relaxed. Very open about his process I.E. Listen, I'm just doing it, and if you have an idea it's a collaborative process. He's very good with that. I think in making the case where he's written this work and, you know, owns it, his notes were just, I think for me, less about the writing, more about emotion and stuff, you know? He kind of trusted as actors that you know what you're doing. You know your words. Hey, every now and again you say that comma is there for a reason but do what you want with it. And so his notes are more about who we, the characters were. He was very, very clever with the timeline because our scenes sit in the spine of the film if you like, and the movie comes back to it, so he's very clever about where we are and just paying attention to the last time we see you in this scene and that scene you would have done and such and such, which is you know some directors a bit like that, but he was really attentive to that, you know?
Jessica Chastain: Yeah. He also loves theater so it felt in making this film like we were rehearsing for a play we'd rehearse the morning, the scene, and then all the crew would come in and they were big, long scene, you know, nine ten pages.
SR: That's what he said. Yeah.
Jessica Chastain: I mean, everybody's circling around and it was like we were doing a play. (Laughs)
Idris Elba: And then walk away after 10 minutes and go, okay, that's what we're shooting! So let's go! (Laughs)
SR: You two had amazing chemistry in the film, so I would like you two to be in the It sequel as Mike and Bev.
Jessica Chastain: Alright.
Idris Elba: Is that right?
SR: What are your thoughts on that?
Idris Elba: I haven’t seen It. I haven't seen it! Is that bad?
Jessica Chastain: What?
Idris Elba: I haven’t seen it! I’ve been working! I’ve been directing.
Jessica Chastain: No, let’s be honest. He’s afraid of scary movies, I think.
Idris Elba: A little bit. No. Yes. A little bit. Was it a good film?
SR: It’s amazing!
Idris Elba: Fantastic.
SR: Jessica’s name has been thrown out there to be the adult Bev. How serious are those talks getting?
Jessica Chastain: Well, I love Andy and Barbara. I worked with them on Andy’s directorial debut, you know, his film, Mama. His first film. And you know, Barbara is one of my best friends so…
Idris Elba: Okay!
Jessica Chastain: We’ll see.
Idris Elba: Get me in! I LOVE THAT MOVIE!
Jessica Chastain: Listen, of course, I want to work… they’re my friends. They’re like my family. Anything that they’re doing I want to be a part of, so I hope we can make it happen.
SR: And you're not the only one people are fan casting. You! [points at Idris Elba] You want a bigger role in the MCU and people are already trying to replace the O.G. Marvel superheroes, so your name is being thrown in there for the new Thor. Especially since there’s a new Thor in the comics.
Idris Elba: Really?
SR: What do you think about that?
Idris Elba: No, I have not heard that. Really?
SR: I’m not making that up.
Idris Elba: Wowsers.
Jessica Chastain: I’m there of an Idris Elba comic book lead.
Idris Elba: Yeah?
Jessica Chastain: Yeah!
Idris Elba: Okay. Okay. Okay.
Jessica Chastain: I’d be there opening night. Opening day, with my ticket stubs and my popcorn.
Idris Elba: What can I be? What kind of superhero guy.
SR: Black Panther is already taken.
Idris Elba: Big Dris.
SR: You can do Blade.
Idris Elba: Blade. Wesley killed that. No one can do Blade better than Wesley.
Jessica Chastain: I think you can do anything.
Idris Elba: Awww.
SR: Just last question here. This movie highlights some of the oppression that Molly goes through which relates to the current climate that going on in Hollywood now with a bunch of sexual harassment cases, and you’re very vocal on Twitter. What are your current thoughts and feeling on that now and I’d like to get your opinion on that as well.
Jessica Chastain: My current thoughts and feelings are I want to do whatever I can to support victims and to know that I believe them and that there’s a community of artist that are committed to creating safe work environments. And I think that the industry has not been running the way it should be running. I think it goes beyond gender. It goes to all facets of the industry. We need to be more inclusive and um, yeah. So, the thing I am excited about is I do believe that there’s a generation of artist who are done with the old ways of Hollywood with the Fatty Arbuckle, Jack Warner, you know, Louie B. Mayer. That kind of old fashion idea of what Hollywood is, and is more interested in creating an industry that is safe and inclusive.
Idris Elba: Yeah, I kind of second that, you know. An industry that sort of made a joke of the casting couch for some many years. I think it’s time to move on from that, and I’m sort of glad… I have a daughter that wants to be in the industry. She’s 15 and the fact that there’s a liberation moment with people sort of speaking out about the atrocities basically of what’s been going on. I think like Jessica said, it’s slightly bigger than just the gender balance and that. There is an industry here that essentially is our window to life, to there for it needs to be sort of…
Jessica Chastain: Reflective.
Idris Elba: It needs to be reflective, you know what I’m saying? I think we’re heading in that direction. Especially for the new generation, for sure.
Stay Tuned for More Coverage from Molly's Game!
- Molly's Game (2017) release date: Dec 25, 2017