The Gambler’s Brie Larson on Taking Risks, Playing Slots, and Working with Mark Wahlberg

<em>The Gambler</em>’s Brie Larson on Taking Risks, Playing Slots, and Working with Mark Wahlberg
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Looking for an action-packed movie to see during the holidays? You’ll want to check out The Gambler.

Opening on Christmas Day, the film tells the story of Jim Bennett (played by Mark Wahlberg), a thrill-seeking college literature professor who leads a double-life as a high-stakes gambler. And when we say high stakes, we mean high stakes. In what seems like mere minutes, Wahlberg’s character quickly finds himself down $260,000—and that’s just the opening scene.

If you’re having a hard time grasping this, Brie Larson, who plays Wahlberg’s love interest in the movie, is right there with you. “My brain can’t comprehend it at all,” she told us while promoting the film in New York City. “I don’t have a gambling past. I’ve played a penny slot called Magic Squirrel once.”

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So what attracted a non-gambler to this all-or-nothing world? It all has to do with Greek mythology. “The structure of the film is actually based on the Seven Gates of Hell, which I know from Greek mythology. To go through each gate you have to give up something, and that’s what we watch Jim do for seven days,” she explains. “I thought it was such a fascinating thing to try and retell this story through the allegory of gambling.” Plus, working with Wahlberg wasn't a bad perk either. "He's the hardest working person I've ever seen. He's like an athlete."

And while Larson may not be playing the blackjack table, she does admit that she has taken a few risks in her own life, namely acting. “I think just deciding to be an actor is a really big gamble,” she told us. Well, lucky for her, she hit the jackpot.

See The Gambler when it opens on Christmas Day in a theater near you.

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