Molly’s Game isn’t set to hit theaters until November of this year, but the film about the Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game is already making waves. The story based on the true story of Molly Bloom made its premiere at TIFF 2017, and during a a press conference star Jessica Chastain and director/writer Aaron Sorkin talked about what the film meant to them.
The thing both Chastain and Sorkin talked about right away is their meetings with Molly Bloom in the first place. Sorkin said that he liked the book, but it wasn’t until he met Bloom that he was truly inspired. It was discovering the story directly from her, and her reasons why she left things out the book, that made the movie. He’d gone into the meeting with one idea on how to make it, and came out of it with something completely different. Chastain on the other hand said she’d judged Bloom before she met her, but the more time she spent with her, the more she understood the positions she was forced to be in. She ended up having a lot of empathy for Bloom as well.
Of course the casting of the film is by far one of the most important things, and Sorkin stated that more than 90 percent of the battle in making a movie is getting the right person. He felt he needed an actor who would be able to carry the film from the start to the end, and he knew right from the start that Chastain was it. He stated it was just a matter of wooing her. On her part, Chastain not only researched her character, but poker as well. She watched real poker games, and studied the players. She was glad though that Bloom wasn’t allowed in Canada during the shooting, because it would have been a reminder to her that she wasn’t playing the person exactly the same as she is. She had to create her own interpretation, and it would have been a blow to her confidence to have had her there.
While Sorkin doesn’t believe he has a directorial style yet, after all this is the first movie he’s directed, he did know that he wanted the shots to be very conventional. He wanted to make poker exciting, even though he knows it’s not. He also said he relied on his team, and that it was important to say yes to really talented people when they came to him with something different. As for rehearsals, there weren’t a lot of them as most of the cast couldn’t get together ahead of time. They had to rely on virtual rehearsals and running lines when they weren’t shooting to get into character.
In the end, Sorkin stated he has a taste for directing now, and plans on being behind the camera on more films in the future. He just needs to find the right story first.