Molly Bloom, daughter of former CSU professor, reacts to biographical film ‘Molly’s Game’

Nate Day

It’s not every day that your life story is turned into a major motion picture. It’s also not every day that your life story involves illegal drugs, the Russian mafia and a high stakes poker game. This is the case for Molly Bloom, the inspiration behind the major motion picture “Molly’s Game.”

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Molly Bloom, whose father, Larry Bloom, is a retired Colorado State University professor, wrote a book detailing her wild adventure in 2014. The book, “Molly’s Game: From Hollywood’s Elite to Wall Street’s Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker,” was recently adapted into a movie simply called “Molly’s Game” that was released in movie theaters over winter break. 

Molly Bloom stands arm in arm with Idris Elba and Jessica Chastain
Molly Bloom (far left) stands with stars of the film “Molly’s Game” Idris Elba (middle) and Jessica Chastain (right) (Image courtesy Molly Bloom)

The film stars Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom, Kevin Costner as Professor Larry Bloom and Idris Elba as Molly Bloom’s lawyer. It was written and directed by Academy and Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. 

“It was so surreal,” Larry Bloom said. “Watching this story unfold in front of me was indescribable.”

Molly Bloom said she had similar feelings when she viewed the movie for the first time.

“Aaron (Sorkin) told me that I should watch it by myself first,” Molly Bloom said. “But I thought it would be fine. Then when I saw it with my family, I was like ‘What was I thinking? This is an insane way to do this.’”

“It was so surreal. Watching this story unfold in front of me was indescribable.”

-Larry Bloom, father of Molly Bloom of “Molly’s Game”

Molly Bloom said Chastain’s performance is uncanny, right down to her fast-paced speaking and no-messing-around attitude.

“There isn’t necessarily a resemblance between the two of us,” Molly Bloom said. “But the way she transformed and adapted herself was incredible.”

Molly Bloom and Jessica Chastain on a BBC talk show. (Image courtesy Molly Bloom)

Larry Bloom said both Sorkin and Chastain took the occasional dramatic liberty, but overall the performances and the accuracy of the story were “phenomenal.”

Molly Bloom said she worked closely on the film’s development.

“I spent eight months intensely working with Aaron (Sorkin) and his team during the research phase,” Molly Bloom said. “We had charts and vend diagrams everywhere trying to work it all out.”

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Molly Bloom also spent time with Chastain in order to develop her character. She noted that Chastain was disarming and authentic, so she never felt uncomfortable or like she was being over analyzed.

The movie faced a few rough patches as Molly Bloom had to turn down several studios because their visions didn’t match her own. When she finally settled on Sony to produce the film, the company was famously hacked and the deal fell through.

Molly Bloom and Sorkin stayed the course through what she said was a perfect “instance of everything going wrong,” and the film was produced and released across the world. 

Molly Bloom cites the making of the film as a “one of the biggest moments in (her) life.” She also referred to the movie as an opportunity to “un-fuck” her life.

Molly Bloom stands next to Aaron Sorkin
Molly Bloom with writer/director Aaron Sorkin. (Image courtesy Molly Bloom)

Although the movie’s been made, Molly Bloom said her story is far from over. She plans on writing another book on putting your life back together after trouble and trials strike it.

Molly Bloom also plans to advocate for women in the workforce. As the traditional narrative of women being in lesser positions begins to shift, Molly Bloom will create membership clubs for women to network with and offer help to one another in a professional setting with the goal of empowering them in their jobs.

Molly Bloom also participates in a 12 step program to help her recover from her substance abuse, a program that Larry Bloom said she is “religiously dedicated” to. 

However, with several projects in the works, Molly Bloom notes that she’s enjoying “not being in SOS mode all the time.”

More about “Molly’s Game:”

  • “Molly’s Game” was published June 24, 2014.
  • The film adaptation premiered in September 2017.
  • The film stars Jessica Chastain, Kevin Costner and Idris Elba, and was directed and written by Aaron Sorkin.

Collegian reporter Nate Day can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @NateMDay