×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Hustlers’ Director Lorene Scafaria: ‘We Wanted to Treat It Like a Sports Movie’

The star-studded cast of “Hustlers” didn’t just become strippers in the empowering female-helmed blockbuster — they also became athletes.

When speaking to “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month, “Hustlers” director Lorene Scafaria explained the extreme athleticism required of the movie’s leading actresses, who all had to learn how to pole dance for convincing performances. “We wanted to treat it like a sports movie,” Scafaria said, noting the grueling training that the girls, and especially Jennifer Lopez, had to go through to prepare for the role.

In the film, Lopez stars as Ramona, a scheming stripper who brings “new girl” Destiny (Constance Wu) under her wing to start ripping off money from their rich clientele. Also in their girl gang are Annabelle (Lili Reinhart) and Mercedes (Keke Palmer), each based off of real-life strippers that inspired the story. 

“[The girls] are like football players leaving the tunnel because it does feel like [that] to follow out onto the floor. You got to psych yourself up for the big game,” Scafaria said. “It’s either a solo sport or a team sport depending on how isolated you are or how many friends you have. I mean, strippers do work in teams, in pairs a lot. And so yeah, I mean I wanted to show the athleticism of it.”

One standout moment comes at the start of the film when Ramona performs her signature routine, which sees Lopez expertly slither her way up the pole like she’s been pole-dancing her entire life. “My mouth is on the floor still probably,” Scafaria said about watching the routine. “I believe in the script I wrote Ramona does one final flourish….But if you’re Jennifer Lopez, you’re going to take that one final flourish and you’re going to turn it into a routine.”

You can listen to the entire “Big Ticket” interview with Scafaria below. You can also find it at iHeartRadio or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

 

 

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Mackenzie Davis Terminator Dark Fate

    ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Terminator: Dark Fate.” Ads placed for the sci-fi action film had an estimated media value of $6.81 million through Sunday for 796 national ad airings [...]

  • Judy & Punch review

    Damon Herriman Stands Out as 'The Nightingale' and 'Lambs of God' Lead AACTA Nominations

    Dark thriller, “The Nightingale” and miniseries “Lambs of God” lead the pack at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. In nominations announced on Wednesday, they picked up 15 and 18 nods, respectively. Jennifer Kent’s “The Nightingale” was one of six films nominated in the best film category. With others including Mirrah Foulkes’ [...]

  • Daisy Ridley is Rey in STAR

    'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Scores Best First-Day Atom Ticket Sales for a 'Star Wars' Film

    Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker” has racked up the best first day of advance ticket sales for a “Star Wars” movie ticketed by Atom. Sales launched during the half time of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” Atom’s overall first-day record was set in April by Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame.” But “Star Wars: The Rise of [...]

  • Cardi B

    Cardi B Joins Vin Diesel in 'Fast & Furious 9'

    Cardi B has joined the cast of Universal’s “Fast & Furious 9” in an undisclosed role. It’s the rapper’s first movie part since her role as the stripper Diamond in STX’s drama “Hustlers.” Vin Diesel disclosed the casting Tuesday in a post on his Instagram account with a video that showed him and Cardi B [...]

  • James Wan

    Film News Roundup: James Wan's Horror Thriller 'Malignant' Gets August Release

    In today’s film news roundup, James Wan’s “Malignant” gets a late-summer release, a Rita Hayworth documentary is shooting and Women in Animation have announced diversity awards winners. RELEASE DATE Warner Bros. has set an Aug. 14 release date for James Wan’s horror thriller “Malignant.” Wan will direct the movie, based on a story by Wan [...]

  • Michael Shannon Benedict Cumberbatch Tuppence Middleton

    How Martin Scorsese Saved 'Current War' From Harvey Weinstein

    Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon finally gets to release his version of his long-in-the-making “The Current War.” The film, about the competition between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, was originally set to be distributed by the Weinstein Company after Harvey Weinstein recut it, much to Gomez-Rejon’s chagrin. To make matters worse, Weinstein premiered the movie at the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content