Entertainment & Arts

‘Hustlers’ draws inspiration from all women fighting to get by

Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu in the movie “Hustlers.”

Mark Olsen talks with Lorene Scafaria, the writer-director of “Hustlers.” In a bonus episode, Times reporters discuss the highlights of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Only eight months passed between the green light for “Hustlers” and its release date, but writer-director Lorene Scafaria fought for years to get the project off the ground.

Scafaria said films about women doing “bad things” are always hard to get made, but she found that the stigma associated with sex workers was also being attached to her telling of the real-life story of strippers who turned the tables on their Wall Street clients.

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Speaking from the Toronto International Film Festival — where “Hustlers” had its world premiere — she told Mark Olsen that the movie explores what she calls “a broken value system,” where a woman’s worth comes from her beauty and body, and a man is judged for his wealth, power and success.

Starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu, the filmmaker said she drew inspiration from all women who hustle to get by, as well sports-themed films and gangster movies like “Goodfellas.”

2019 Toronto International Film Festival - “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” Premiere - Red Carpet
Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys and Enrico Colantoni attend the “A BeautifulDay In The Neighborhood” premiere during the 2019 Toronto International FilmFestival on September 07, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TIFF)

Also, in a special bonus episode of The Reel this week, a team of Times reporters in Toronto give the low-down on this year’s film festival, summing up its hits and misses. Olsen (@IndieFocus), Justin Chang (@JustinCChang), Jen Yamato (@jenyamato), Glenn Whipp (@GlennWhipp) and Amy Kaufman (@AmyKinLA) discuss “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” “Jojo Rabbit” and “Marriage Story,” among other films.


Check out other episodes of The Reel here.

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