Ben Mendelsohn Brings a ‘Light’ to His Troubled Gambler in ‘Mississippi Grind’ (Video)

In this exclusive featurette, his co-stars discuss the honest yet heartbreaking passion he brings to the role

In “Mississippi Grind,” Ben Mendelsohn plays a gambler addict, and in this exclusive featurette provided by distributor A24, the Australian actor’s co-stars discuss his approach to the character.

Directed by “Half Nelson” filmmakers Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, the film follows Gerry (Mendelsohn) and Curtis (Ryan Reynolds), who embark on a “Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn” type of adventure down the Mississippi, gambling their whole way to Louisiana. Gerry must reach a big-time poker game in New Orleans to dig himself out of major debt.

Mendelsohn, who often plays menacing characters, brings a lightness to Gerry that makes the character endearing, even when the degenerate gambler is willing to bet on literally anything.


“Next guy that comes out of the bathroom, if he’s wearing glasses, we stay,” Gerry says to Curtis.


“You want to be done with Gerry, he’s just impossible,” said actress Alfre Woodard. “So it has to be someone that can really play that honestly but there is a light in them and charm that you just keep giving them another chance, and Ben’s got that light.”

“Mississippi Grind” is now playing in select theaters.