‘Hustlers’ is an American crime drama film directed by Lorene Scafaria. The plot revolves around a gang of ladies who drug clients who come to their club. The women steal their money and get away with it for the longest period by maxing out their credit cards. However, their entire business eventually crumbles.
“Hustlers” is based on Jessica Pressler’s December 2015 story “The Hustlers at Scores” in New York Magazine. Jessica is even portrayed in the film in a fictitious form.
Julia Stiles plays Elizabeth, a journalist researching the scammers, whose inquiries into prior occurrences cause the major characters to reflect on their lives. While the premise is based on a genuine story, several portions of “Hustlers” are made up. Let us now distinguish between reality and fantasy.
Is Hustlers Based on a True Story?
Hustlers is, in fact, based on a genuine story. Lorene based the screenplay on a New York Magazine piece titled “The Hustlers at Scores” that appeared just after the 2008 stock market meltdown. Lorene knew she wanted Cardi B for the role early on and admitted to “chasing” her for quite some time.
The Bronx-born rapper is a natural match for the role. Cardi B supported her music career by stripping, and she recently came under fire for confessing to drugging and robbing guys who approached her for prostitution during her dancing days. As a result, playing a character who is willing to make money by whatever means necessary isn’t necessarily a leap of faith.
Lorene discussed her efforts to secure the cast for the project in an interview with IndieWire, admitting that things were a lot easier once Jennifer Lopez was on board.
“I was chasing Cardi on Instagram for two years before there was a movie. I’d been after Lizzo for about a year as well. Both of them are people I only hoped would appear in the film. Of course, it helps my profession when Jennifer Lopez stars in something and everyone wants to work with her, so that was my luck.”
Despite the fact that this will be Lizzo and Cardi B’s first time on the big screen, Lorene is confident that their musical abilities will translate well to acting: “I think musicians, singers, and performers are just naturally very good at timing and rhythm, and they are just kind of natural-born actors,” she said.
“Lizzo has a lot of personality, and Cardi has a lot of personality.” I wanted to give them roles that showcased their personalities, but I also wanted to make sure that they felt like they were a part of the world and the ensemble, that nobody stood out, and that everyone was still in the same movie.”
How Accurate is Hustlers to the True Story?
First and foremost, the names of the actual ladies engaged in the incident were changed in the film. Jennifer Lopez stars in “Hustlers” as Ramona Vega, a character based on real-life mastermind Samantha Barbash, a.k.a. Samantha Foxx.
Constance Wu plays Destiny, a dancer who is inspired by a woman named Roselyn “Rosie” Keo. Mercedes and Annabelle, played by Keke Palmer and Lili Reinhart, are schemers inspired by Marci Rosen and Karina Pascucci, respectively.
At the end of the film, all four ladies are captured in a sting operation. Ramona is eventually sentenced to five years of probation, while her partners serve weekend jail stints before being freed on probation. Except for one important aspect, this is accurately represented.
Samantha Barbash, like Ramona, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, assault, and grand larceny in return for five years probation. Rosen and Pascucci were sentenced to four months in weekend prison and five years of probation. The distinction is that, unlike Constance Wu’s Destiny, Keo was never imprisoned. Keo received five years of probation in exchange for a plea bargain.
Read More: Is the Movie Flight Based on a True Story?
The film had the highest live-action opening weekend of Lopez’s career, grossing roughly $33 million (according to Box Office Mojo). However, “Hustlers” got it all wrong, according to Ramona’s real-life counterpart, Barbash.