Hustlers Movie Poster

Trivia for Hustlers

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  • Jennifer Lopez practiced pole dancing in preparation for the movie. She even had a detachable pole in her house. She began pole dance training with professional dancer and choreographer Johanna Sapakie two and a half months before filming, in preparation for a scene where she performed a major solo pole dance routine without a professional stand-in.
  • Singer Bebe Rexha was approached for the role of the "Russian girl from New York" and auditioned, but didn't get the part.
  • On April 4, 2019, "J.Lo stole my story!" claimed Samantha Barbash. The stripper and convicted thief threatened legal action against Jennifer Lopez and the Hustlers production company for using her life story without permission. [New York Post, April 4, 2019, pp. 1, 20-21]
  • Jennifer Lopez personally brought Cardi B on board, saying that Cardi had been offered roles before, but she was looking for the right project.
  • Jennifer Lopez visited a strip club with her fiance, Alex Rodriquez, to research her role.
  • Third collaboration between Jennifer Lopez and Keke Palmer. They both voiced for the characters Shira and Peaches in Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) and Ice Age: Collision Course (2016).
  • There was high speculation that Big Jay Oakerson was filming a major role for the new Blade reboot, before being revealed that he was filming for this movie as a strip club DJ.
  • Cardi B's feature film debut.
  • Cardi B was a stripper before starting her music career.
  • Devin Ratray and Frank Whaley were both in movies written by John Hughes. Devin Ratray - Home Alone (1990) & Home Alone 2 (1992); Frank Whaley - Career Opportunities (1991)
  • Martin Scorsese passed on directing the film.
  • Lady Gaga was considered for a role in this movie.
  • Lorene Scafaria credits STX Entertainment with coming along and rescuing the film.
  • Janet Jackson's song in the opening was always a part of the script. "This is a story about control. I had written into the script 'Janet Jackson voice-over.' So incredibly grateful that she gave us the rights to use this song." stated Lorene Scafaria.
  • They had a pole trainer work with Jennifer Lopez on Ramona's introduction scene, and while Lopez was already in great shape "she said it just requires muscles you didn't know you had. You just find yourself bruised in places you can't believe." It was Lorene Scafaria's birthday the day they filmed this, and she had goosebumps watching the performance.
  • Lorene Scafaria intends the opening montage sequence to be an eye-opener as "people don't really connect the dots between what these women are doing. This is them paying the bills."
  • The film was shot in an actual Long Island City strip club called Show Palace, despite warnings not to film in a real place. There were approximately 300 extras in there, necessitating a comfort consultant as well as a stripper consultant on hand.
  • Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu were such great improvisers that Lorene Scafaria just let them run with it. Cardi B also improvised on occasion, but she stuck mostly to the script and based her performance "on a girl she used to know."
  • There's technically no score in the film as it instead uses songs and brief Chopin etudes, some of the most difficult to play on solo piano, as "it just reminded me so much of the difficult moves these dancers are doing."
  • The now infamous shot of Jennifer Lopez in her one-piece and fur coat, lounging and smoking on the roof top, was the first scene Lorene Scafaria had written and among the last that they shot. They used three real fur coats for the film, but they were all rented.
  • The guys around Ramona's stage performance were all vetted "to make sure they're all decent fellas."
  • Writer/Director Lorene Scafaria worked in a Wall Street "boiler room" in her teens and is familiar with the mentality of the guys who spent their days "selling bad stocks to old people."
  • Lorene Scafaria sent Frank Whaley a "fan letter" to offer him the role of one of the sleazebags despite it being "a glorified extra" on the page. "Basically everything that comes out of his mouth is his own."
  • Lorene Scafaria had written singer Usher Raymond into the script, without being sure if he'd be interested. Happily, he was interested, and even brought his own chain, shades, and jacket from 2007/2008 for the scene.
  • Lorene Scafaria received lots of notes on ways to highlight the Wall Street men as worthy of being screwed over, but she never felt it necessary to alter the reality. "We didn't need to change what the men did. What they did to the country was pretty bad."
  • Lorene Scafaria loves Keke Palmer, who she describes as a "Marvel, if you're listening, give this girl a franchise."
  • The dog in the mall is named after Lorene Scafaria's own dog, Mister Bruce.
  • Lorene Scafaria has been obsessed with singer Scott Walker and was happy to once again be granted permission to use a song of his in the film. Sadly, he passed away halfway through production.
  • The beat where Destiny's grandma says she once danced with Frankie Valli is inspired by Lorene Scafaria's mom telling her she once danced with Joe Namath.
  • Director Lorene Scafaria saw actress Madeline Brewer in Cam (2018) and loved her performance.
  • Lorene Scafaria doesn't explain why Elizabeth is bleeped out at (1hr22mins) while naming a mark.
  • Annabelle has a vomit problem, and they used a mix of graham crackers and Sprite to complete the effect.
  • The photo at the end of Destiny as a child is an actual childhood photo of Constance Wu.
  • The film was green-lit in mid-January 2019 and was released eight months later in mid-September.
  • In an Oct. 2019 interview with Backstage magazine, Constance Wu said this film isn't just important for women, it's something men with sexist attitudes have needed to see for a long time. "America likes to shame women for existing as anything other than child-bearers or sexual objects. That's why it's a good time for men: They finally get to see stories that don't do that. I think it's a really good time for men--not because of employment opportunities, but because they finally get to see stories they have been robbed of, stories that actually humanize women."
  • None of the main female stars playing "strippers" are naked in this film. They only wear tight outfits, bikini tops, pasties and thongs, including Cardi B, who was an actual stripper.
  • In July 2019, Constance Wu denied Page Six's claim that she was involved in an offscreen drama on the set of Hustlers and demanded top billing.
  • In an interview, Jennifer Lopez said she accidentally hit Constance Wu in the nose with a phone while filming a fight scene. When Wu's nose started to bleed, Lopez was worried she'd broken it and they would have to postpone shooting. Luckily it was just a bruise. No major damage.
  • When asked during an interview if she thought the young actors who play her sons on her series Fresh Off The Boat (2015) may try to see her in her thong and tight outfit playing a stripper in Hustlers, Constance Wu laughed and said "Oh I hope the hell not."
  • Cardi B, who was an actual stripper before getting into music, told Entertainment Tonight she was really upset that getting breast implants and liposuction before filming threw a wrench into her plans to show the director and cast all her stripper and pole dancing moves on set.
  • According to writer/Director Lorene Scafaria, "We wanted to use as much real money as possible in certain scenes."
  • Lorene Scafaria said: "When you cast Jennifer Lopez, you're gonna get more than one final flourish."
  • Lorene Scafaria said of the pole dancing scene, "Pole training is like nothing else. I feel like if Jennifer Lopez opened up her fur coat and asked you to climb inside you'd do anything she said."
  • In a Jan. 2020 interview with W magazine about the film, Jennifer Lopez revealed there was a time in her life when she considered becoming a stripper to pay the bills. "There was a moment in my life when my friends, who were also dancers, told me about making thousands of dollars at clubs in New Jersey," she told the magazine. "It sounded awfully good when I was broke and eating pizza every day, but I never did it."
  • Shot in only 29 days on a low budget.
  • In February 2016, it was announced that Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay would produce Hustlers, under their Gloria Sanchez Productions banner. The film was also produced by Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, and Jennifer Lopez through Nuyorican Productions. In May 2016, Annapurna Pictures was announced to co-produce and finance the film, with the studio's Megan Ellison and Chelsea Barnard serving as executive producers. In October 2018, it was announced Annapurna had dropped the film, with STX Entertainment acquiring distribution rights to the film. Annapurna allegedly dropped the film due to budget concerns.
  • Upon first receiving Scafaria's script, Gloria Sanchez Productions first had Martin Scorsese in mind to direct, while also considering Adam McKay. Producer Jessica Elbaum stated that their initial approach was to "send this to the people that we've seen make this type of movie." After Scorsese and other directors passed on the project, producers ultimately gave Scafaria, who had refused to take on other directorial projects in hopes of directing Hustlers, the green-light to direct.
  • Scafaria convinced the producers to hire her as director with a two-minute sizzle reel she created to demonstrate her concept.
  • Lorene Scafaria described the "judgment that people have about strippers" as a challenge in getting the film made.
  • According to producer Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, who was pitching Hustlers to a range of studios after Annapurna dropped it, "[the male studio executives] were a little uncomfortable. Everybody could see the commercial value of this movie, but they were like, 'Can they just drug the bad guys? Can they just do it to the people that deserve it?'"
  • Principal photography for Hustlers began on March 22, 2019 in New York City, with the shoot lasting 29 days. Final production wrapped on May 3. Scenes were also shot north of the city in New Rochelle, White Plains and at the Palisades Center. According to producer Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, the production budget for the film was $20.7 million.
  • Cameos by Usher, Lizzo, and Cardi B, were all filmed the same day.
  • Hustlers costume designer, Mitchell Travers, defined the origins of the film's costume design and treatment in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, stating that "I knew it [had] to absolutely floor the audience, and let them know that this is not going to be like any movie that they've seen before." Travers designed the costumes for Lopez to showcase the strength and muscle tone that Lopez amassed during her pre-Hustlers training. Without running afoul of the film's planned R rating, he dreamed up the diamond bodysuit that was essentially connected by three straps. Travers noted that "We did a lot of research and development to find something that could [stretch in every direction during Lopez's dance]. It's performance wear, and really had to work for that sequence. We did a number of fittings on it. It is tailored within an inch of its life, completely custom for her."
  • Jennifer Lopez was Writer/Director Lorene Scafaria's first choice to play Ramona, stating: "as soon as I was done, I realized, Oh my God, Ramona is Jennifer Lopez [...] It has to be her."
  • Constance Wu joined the cast in October 2018, after putting herself on tape, noting: "I knew that my résumé at that point didn't really have anything that would indicate that I could pull off this role."
  • In March 2019, Cardi B, Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles, and Mercedes Ruehl joined the cast with Mette Towley and Trace Lysette in negotiations to join as well. That same month, Madeline Brewer and Frank Whaley joined the cast of the film. Lizzo joined the cast of the film in April 2019, and Usher joined the cast in May.
  • Lorene Scafaria had the idea to cast Cardi B, a former stripper, in the film, prompting Jennifer Lopez to convince her to join the project. Lopez said: "I know she knew this world better than any of us. I told her she had to do it. And I wasn't going to take no for an answer."
  • Was chosen by Time magazine, HuffPost, and NPR as one of the best films of 2019.
  • Constance Wu made $600 on her first night undercover as a stripper doing lap dances and stripping.
  • Janet Jackson songs are used throughout the movie; Control and Miss You Much. Jennifer Lopez was a backup dancer for Janet Jackson in the 90's.

Spoilers

  • Cardi B actually admitted to illegally drugging and robbing men in the early stages of her career, which is coincidentally what this film's subject revolves around.
  • For the red-lit scene showing Ramona and Destiny stripping privately for Whaley, the shots of him watching were actually shot while Scafaria walked back and forth carrying their outfits. He was there while filming their side though.
  • The scene where Ramona and Destiny mix the Ketamine and MDMA reminded Lorene Scafaria of a "mother and daughter baking a cake."
  • Part of what the women are taking advantage of is the reality that men aren't always willing to open up about bad things that happen to them, "and that's a stigma as well that's unfortunate."
  • The audio dropout at the end of the interview between Destiny and Elizabeth is intentional and meant to represent that "once Destiny is done talking, Elizabeth is forced to fill in the blanks."
  • The naked guy passed out by the pool is stuntman Rob Stats who was "very generous with us. Legally he's wearing a prosthetic."
  • The scene where Ramona and Destiny cook and try ketamine and then pass out on the floor is a nod to The Shining. The girls are laying on the floor passed out in the same positions as the dead twins.
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