The film ‘Hustlers’ is an American criminal drama directed by Lorene Scafaria. The plot of the film revolves around a group of ladies who sell drugs to club patrons. The women take their money by maxing out their credit cards and remain undetected for an extended period of time. Nevertheless, their entire enterprise finally fails.
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Here you can read our review. Critics have already lauded the film’s outstanding performances and the criminal elements that abound in the stripping world. Jennifer Lopez, who appears in the film, has already earned Oscar buzz, and Constance Wu, who co-stars with Lopez, has also garnered accolades.
However, what you may not realise is that ‘Hustlers’ is based on a true story that was published in New York magazine in 2015. In the instance of ‘The Hustlers at Scores’ by Jessica Pressler, the truth may be stranger than fiction. The plot of “Hustlers” takes a few liberties, and we are here to tell you the real tale behind “Hustlers.”
What Happened in Real Life?
Before discussing the changes made by the film, it is necessary to review the details as they occurred in reality. The description in the New York magazine article comes from one of the operation’s members, Roselyn Keo, and is her interpretation of the events. She has also demonstrated her support for the film itself.
Roselyn Keo or Rosie was an unruly youngster as a child. Her parents’ departure compelled her to work at a diner while living with her grandparents. As a result of the third wave of feminism, stripping had become an empowering job at the time, and she soon learned that she could make more money from it. Keo met Samantha Foxx or Samantha Barbash when she relocated to Manhattan, where the real money was, because there was where the real money was.
Samantha worked at Hustler’s as a single mother. By mentoring young women, she remained relevant despite being in her 30s. She gave Rosie her protection and introduced her to Wall Street clients. They gained a great deal of money off of these individuals, who were eager to spend lavishly in strip clubs.
Rosie left the firm at one time, but returned because her turbulent relationship with her partner required her to be financially independent, not just for herself but also for her newborn baby. By 2008, the market had already crashed, and business was no longer thriving.
When Rosie returned, she saw that Samantha was doing an entirely different type of operation. Samantha had a crew of “minions” who targeted wealthy men in clubs and pubs. They would then return them to the strip clubs, where they would steal their credit card information and charge them to the maximum amount allowed. How were they able to get away with it? Samatha had her lethal mixture of MDMA and ketamine, which she would add into the men’s beverages to induce a blackout.
Due to the embarrassment of having to disclose that they had frequented strip clubs, when the guys recovered, they did not pursue the subject with vigour. In addition, many were embarrassed to confess that they had been duped by women. Rosie participated in the scheme and ran it like a company. The clubs compensated them for bringing customers and revenue. Samantha went ahead and added Karina Pascucci and Marsi Rosen to the group.
Since clients wanted to have sex the majority of the time, the four of them ended up outsourcing a portion of their business to prostitutes. Neither Rosie nor Samantha were willing to breach that line. One of the ladies they later recruited was Marjorie, a former stripper who would ultimately bring the scheme down. As additional dancers began to engage in the same behaviour, the club’s operation suffered.
Samantha chose to bring the strippers to the customers. Prior to this, a large number of customers desired to be around strippers but did not wish to enter clubs. Putting them in hotel rooms addressed the problem, and Samantha, Rosie, and the gang had a brief monopoly on the market.
However, the firm quickly grew out of control. As the extent of Rosie and Samantha’s scams grew, a chasm was driven between them, which further widened as time passed. They ultimately selected a man with too much to lose. According to the article, Fred was the beginning of the end for the group. He approached the police and initiated an investigation.
According to the women, Marjorie gave them up during this time. The doctor Zyad Younan, who had lost $135,000 as a result of the girls, only served to strengthen the case against the girls. All of the women accepted plea bargains, with Rosie speaking first. After receiving their sentences, the women went their separate ways, making the most of life.
What the Movie Changed?
Hustlers captures the heart of the story, but makes a number of artistic liberties throughout. The most noticeable difference is the characters’ names. Wu portrays Roselyn Keo as Dorothy or Destiny. Samantha transforms into Ramona Vega, portrayed by Lopez.
Karina Pascucci transforms into Annabelle, portrayed by Lili Reinhart, while Marsi Rosen becomes Mercedes, portrayed by Keke Palmer. The girl who assists the cops, Dawn, is actually Marjorie. The original journalist, Jessica Pressler, is portrayed by Julia Stiles as Elizabeth. Even the club’s name has been altered from Scores to Moves.
In the film, Ramona and her gang can be seen working on the recipe for MDMA and ketamine while tripping out in the kitchen. However, Samantha had already mastered the formula before Rosie joined the organisation.
One of the film’s memorable sequences is a customer who gets intoxicated and believes he can fly. He leaps from the roof of the building and aims for the pool. Nonetheless, he crashes into concrete and must be sent to the hospital. While this incident is not mentioned in the source piece, there is mention of a hedge fund manager who was so drunk that he had a concussion after hitting his head in a pool.
Moreover, one of the clients who brings down the enterprise in the film is an archaeologist. In reality, he practises as a cardiologist.
The film also makes it clear that Ramona is the ringleader, although the source material claims that Samantha and Rosie played equal roles, utilising Samantha’s contacts and Rosie’s financial savvy. There is also the possibility that the arrival of Usher at the club, which is not mentioned in the original article, is wholly fictitious.
What Happened to Ramona?
You must be wondering what happened to Ramona, played by Jennifer Lopez, in real life. Even if the actress is receiving plaudits for her performance, Samantha Barbash in real life is not pleased. She is a single mother who participated in a conspiracy to swindle funds, although she denies being a stripper. She asserts that she was a hostess.
In addition, she intends to sue the film’s production firm, stating, “She’s profiting off my tale. If she wishes to use me as a pawn, she should have acquired the whole narrative… They are relying on a bogus story… I never worked as a stripper. Everything that [Lopez] is doing on poles and other objects is not me… It’s character defamation.”
Samantha has insisted on participating in the plan in order to earn money for her child. While her child figures significantly in “Hustlers,” the original piece makes no mention of him or her. Ramona’s appearance differs significantly from how Barbash is portrayed in the source article, which states that she “may have crossed a plastic-surgery Rubicon and could frighten anyone unfamiliar with nighttime creatures.”
At the conclusion of “Hustlers,” Destiny tells Ramona that she accepted the plea bargain while hugging her. In truth, Samantha learned about Rosie from another source and simply texted her best wishes. She is currently contemplating a lawsuit against STX Entertainment for misrepresenting her life story. She has authored a book titled “Underscore” that recounts the events from her point of view. Barbash has also established her own life and operates a medical spa. Additionally, she specialises in plastic surgery and aesthetic procedures.
What Happened to Dorothy/Destiny?
Roselyn Keo shares parallels and differences with Dorothy/Destiny portrayed by Wu. While the film depicts her as working to support her grandma, she actually supported both of her grandparents. In addition, the film begins after Dorothy has begun working at a nightclub, bypassing the time she spent working at a diner.
However, Keo’s account is mostly correct, given she was the primary source for the article. Her interactions with her daughter and boyfriend have been presented realistically, but Dorothy’s close bond with Ramona is fabricated. Keo and Samantha do not reconcile, as implied by the film. Keo has stated that there was little that could be done to rescue the relationship. They were only a bunch engaged in unlawful activity.
As in actual life, Dorothy is depicted as accepting the plea bargain first. Samantha and Keo both accepted plea bargains to escape jail time. Keo is writing a book named “The Sophisticated Hustler” and has contemplated becoming a motivational speaker like Jordan Belfort from “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Although “Hustlers” hinted at a reunion between Ramona and Dorothy, Keo has no contact with Barbash or any other club members in real life.