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THE GAMBLER – NYC Press Conference (12.14.14)

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“I need to know what you’ll be worth when I leave you nothing.”

As a line only a hustler can love, it’s one of the first and most powerful in an exchange between Jim Bennet (Mark Wahlberg) and his dying grandfather (George Kennedy).

Setting up its tone, Rupert Wyatt’s “The Gambler” differs from the original version released back in 1974.

“There was a fundamental difference for me when I read the script as I knew of the original. I saw more the notion of what it’s like to be a gambler in this world today, especially in western society with the win-lose mentality. Sink or swim.”

As the above was expressed by director Rupert Wyatt, the changes don’t stop there.

Letting loose on his thoughts and take-in from the story, Mark Wahlberg also expresses his interesting role-twist. When asked about some of the characteristics pertaining to Jim Bennet, he followed up with: “It was very different from anything that I had done before. I am use to playing the guy who’s an underdog as opposed to the guy who has everything who’s trying to strip all he has in order to become an underdog.”

In “The Gambler,” Jim Bennet is a man whose life of wealth, education and privileges wind up working up a case of self-loathing behavior that starts an intriguing pique of interest among the opposite.

One of few obvious stand-outs to Jim Bennet was greatly appreciated by a fellow cast member in Michael K. Williams (Neville). “I can’t tell you how relieved I was when I got to the set and saw he (gesturing to Mark) had lost sixty pounds. I was freaking out. I was like: I gotta get to the gym. I gotta get to the gym.” However, on a much more soothing side, he also recalls his gain – and not in form of muscularity when stating: “Mark is brilliant. This man is amazing to watch and work with. I learned a lot from him. He allowed himself to be vulnerable and to give himself to the character.”

Along with director Rupert Wyatt, Mark Wahlberg and Michael K. Williams are writer William Monahan and cast member Brie Larson.

In its entirety, unedited audio (as provided by yours truly of course) gives you the chance to experience and listen in on interesting behind-the-scenes discussions regarding “The Gambler.”

Having taken place in a high-rise on Sunday, December 14th, I was lucky to be one of many other outlet reps to join in on the fun. My question was directed to Mark Wahlberg pertaining his feelings on his character’s redemption.

Click and enjoy.

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