The film ‘Mississippi Grind’ mirrors the addiction and redemption of poker players in Southern USA in the seventies.
To prepare for their roles as expert gamblers, the two actors Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn who stars in the film ‘Mississippi Grind, got on-the-job training in small casinos, while being escorted by a “poker czar”. They were then left on their own in real US Poker rooms to fend for themselves, 14 hours a day.
This was the only sure way to bring to life the road-trip movie, set in the seventies – a story about two near-strangers travelling from Dubuque, Iowa to New Orleans. Playing at real casino tables was a thrill for Reynolds, being an inexperienced poker table, playing real poker, made real poker players scared of him as they didn’t know what his next move could be.
In the movie, the protagonist Curtis is a good omen, and the poker addict Gerry, persuades Curtis to join him as he gambles his way along the Mississippi River down to a big poker game in New Orleans, with a whopping $25,000 buy-in. Curtis gives him a head start in high rolling, betting $2,000.