Hustlers has caused quite a stir in the build-up to its release.
Not only has it been met with superb reviews that it currently has a score of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, but the campaign for Jennifer Lopez to land at least a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination has gained so much momentum it already looks like a formality.
Lopez plays Ramona Vega in Hustlers, the mentor to Constance Wu’s Dorothy. Both are strippers in Manhattan, who use increasingly illegal methods to hustle thousands of dollars from dozens and dozens of wealthy men after the financial crisis of 2008. This sees the strippers drugging and then maxing out the men’s credit cards, who would then be too ashamed to report them.
As well as starring Lopez and Wu, the film also features Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo and Cardi B as strippers, too. The fact that Cardi B previously worked as a stripper has lead to suggestions that Hustlers is based on her life.
That’s not true, though, as writer and director Lorene Scafaria learned about the real-life exploits of these women from a 2015 New York magazine article called, The Hustlers at Scores, written by Jessica Pressler.
In fact, while Cardi B excels in the film as Diamond whenever she is on screen, she is very much a supporting character. Cardi B’s presence is essential, though, and Scafaria recently told Vulture that she pursued the hugely popular singer for two years to be involved in Hustlers, telling the publication, “How can you write a movie about strippers and not put Cardi B in it?”
Cardi B has previously spoken at length about becoming a stripper when she was just 19, admitting that it helped her find her own financial independence and allowed her to lay the foundations to become the singer she is today.
Keke Palmer, Cardi B, Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, and Lili Reinhart. GETTY IMAGES
Her past does share some similarities to the plot of Hustlers, though, as Cardi B previously admitted to drugging and robbing men that she met at the strip club. Cardi B recently defended these actions on Instagram, writing, “I talked about things I had to do in my past, right or wrong, that I felt I needed to do to make a living. I never claimed to be perfect or from some perfect world with a perfect past. I always speak my truth. I always own my [past].”
Considering these similarities, it would make sense if Scafaria, Lopez, Wu or any of the Hustlers cast and crew asked Cardi B for advice on the topic, especially since the above news emerged at the end of March, 2019, and production took place between March 22 and May 4.
Hustlers is released on September 13.