From aspiring Olympic skier to Hollywood’s so-called ‘Poker Princess’ to a ruinous battle with the FBI, Molly Bloom’s hair-raising journey is charted in Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of her memoir, ‘Molly’s Game’. So what’s it like to see yourself on the big screen? What does she think of Jessica Chastain’s performance? And how does her dad feel about being played by Kevin Costner? The pin-sharp Coloradan spilled the beans.
1. Did you have any creative control over the film?
‘Aaron [Sorkin] sent me the script, but it wasn’t for me to comment on, and I didn’t go on set. I just brought too much emotional baggage to it to be objective. He and I spent about seven months together, [working] intensely every day.
2. Were you offered other movie deals before this one?
‘I walked away from at least five, because there’s a bad version of this story that focuses on celebrity. But when Aaron came on, almost every top actress in Hollywood wanted the role. When I heard Jessica Chastain was in the running, I said, “You have to get her.” My family say watching her playing me is eerie.’
3. What was the first thing Jessica asked when you met?
‘She wanted to know a lot about my relationship with my father, what it felt like to start out as a cocktail waitress and become the owner-operator-bank [of the game]. She was trying to find her way into this character through the formative years. Whatever she did, it works.’
4. What’s the movie’s biggest dramatic licence?
‘It’s all pretty true: the assault scene, the raid, the storylines with the players. The biggest departure is that I had an attorney, Jim Walden, who is a true hero, but Aaron wrote himself into Idris Elba’s lawyer character. That arc – hearing about this story, having an assumption and then finally getting to know me – is his too.’
5. What’s it like seeing yourself on screen?
‘Like “Inception”! I wanted to see it for the first time at the premiere. I was sitting there with 2,000 people, wondering what I’d been thinking. But halfway through the first scene I was watching it like everyone else – I mean, probably more tense than them. I’m finally my dad’s favourite because Kevin Costner is playing him.’