Aaron Sorkin, the writer/director of Molly’s Game, discusses the process of adapting the real-life story of Molly Bloom with Jeff Goldsmith
Aaron Sorkin is well-known for his fastidious writing style, quick dialogue, and holding a stellar track record of creating memorable television shows and films. From The West Wing to Steve Jobs, his legacy as a writer has been cemented as one with quick, sharp characters and a penchant for details. Molly’s Game marks Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut in the world of feature films. He sat down in our Main Theatre with Jeff Goldsmith, the producer of The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith, to discuss the development of the film. Molly’s Game is based on the life of Molly Bloom, a former olympic-class skier who ran an exclusive, high stakes poker game in Los Angeles and New York City for over ten years. Below is a select number of moments from the Q&A. For the complete interview, visit Jeff Goldsmith’s podcast page.
On directing for the first time.
“Molly’s Game is the first thing I have directed. It was exhilarating and difficult, but I had the support of many very talented friends.”
On writing length screenplays, and where the shooting script came in, length-wise.
“The shooting script came in at a wispy 180 Pages.”
Constructing a compelling narrative based on true events can come with challenges. Sorkin was open about discussing which character in the film was fictionalized to propel the story forward.“The one fictional element in the story is Idris Elba’s character.”
Sorkin developed an appreciation for the film’s focus, Molly Bloom. In her actions taken throughout the film, the way the public has embraced her story is heartening.
“Molly was surprised to hear that she is a hero.”
Every writer has their own method for keeping track of the organization of a story. Sorkin is no different with his minimal use of notecards.
“With movies, I like using notecards, but don’t like putting up more than four at a time. I only like being able to see to the narrative bend in the road, but not beyond that until I’m there.”
The Molly’s Game writer/director shared a must-read to aspiring screenwriters in the audience.
“Adventures in the screen trade. You have to read it.”
Sorkin commands every sound that the actor makes in his films and television series. In Molly’s Game, while writing, he carefully places emphasis on the non-verbal utterances and cues that his characters will make in the screenplay, especially with Jessica Chastain’s character in the film.
“I write every sound that the actor makes.”
We would like to thank Aaron Sorkin and Jeff Goldsmith for an exceptional Q&A.
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