Ryan Reynolds and Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn co-star in the upcoming gambling flick Mississippi Grind, and while the two actors respected each other’s work before filming together, they didn’t know much about each other. “I thought he was Burt Reynolds’ son,” Mendelsohn tells Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers in the latest installment of “Off the Cuff” from the Sundance Film Festival.
This is Reynolds’ seventh visit to the Park City, Utah fest, and this time around he’s here in support of the latest film from the Half Nelson writing/directing team of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, about two gamblers heading to New Orleans for a high-stakes poker game. “One [of the characters] is quite a degenerate,” Mendelsohn says, “and this guy sort of finagles, ‘Maybe we can drive down to Mississippi together.'” He adds that while he doesn’t consider himself a gambler in real life, “If I’m right next to a casino, yes: I’m going in there.”
Reynolds then tells Travers “the greatest gambling story ever,” which involves a 2003 trip to Las Vegas and a $600 lost bet with Paul Anka. The actors then reveal their favorite scenes from Mississippi Grind – which also stars Sienna Miller, Alfre Woodard and Annaleigh Tipton – before breaking out into a spontaneous duet of the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.”
Check out our Sundance page for complete coverage of the 2015 festival.