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TWO FOR THE MONEY

About The Production
Rounding out the powerful cast of Two For the Money is RENE RUSSO, playing Walter's gorgeous, yet life-hardened, wife Toni. Also a recovering addict, Toni wields the true power in her home—balancing Walter's precarious ambition and serving as a reminder that his inner demons are not far from the surface. An actor with luminescent presence on screen, Russo completes a dynamic triangle with these two leading men.

Giving quiet muscle to their makeshift family, Toni will tolerate neither Walter's attempts at self-destruction nor Brandon's possible descent into gambling mayhem. In a character drama where financial and human fortunes are on the line, Two For the Money rests the balance of power on a unique family. The audience is invited to enter the rush of high-roller gambling where those with fortunes to burn and money to risk play a deadly game.

Inspired by a true story, Two For the Money is the itch screenwriter/executive producer Dan Gilroy needed to scratch for some time. Gilroy had been searching for a true gambling story, not the agonizing downward spiral of a degenerate gambler. In his mind, James Caan had already mastered that character in The Gambler.

Gilroy knew it had to be about sports, but he never thought that unlocking the heart of such a tale would come from a golf caddy. "Listen, do you want to hear a story for a movie?” Gilroy recalls a young man telling him six years ago. "His story hooked me,” Gilroy notes. Brandon Link was that caddy…and that story.

A former walk-on for UNLV basketball with an injured knee and few skills but his athletic prowess, Link took a job selling products over the phone—working for an audio text company. One day he filled in for a co-worker giving picks on the sports gambling line. "He discovered he had a true facility for picking games,” says Gilroy.

His winning streak caught the attention of a New York sports advisory firm, and the rest is history.

"The basis of this film's story loosely follows what happened to that guy,” Gilroy says. But the game was changed to football; the story was expanded, deepened and embellished. "It was the sports services, the sports advisors, a glimpse into this legitimate subculture on the fringe of this extremely large illegal enterprise that interested me,” muses Gilroy. "It's a movie about the people who ‘feed off' guys who bet—the men who make the $200 billion world of gambling spin 'round.”

Director D.J. Caruso, a lover of sports and an occasional dabbler in gambling, found that Gilroy's script "just spoke to me. I was looking for a drama, and this dealt with the familiar themes of innocence being corrupted—what happens once that innocence is corrupted and how that person gets back to where he began. I was intrigued by Brandon's journey and bringing the audience into the world of sports gambling. We hear about it, but I've never seen a movie about it.”

Notably, sports advising is not illegal. However, all gambling, including sports betting, is illegal except in four states—Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana. Of all sports, however, football is "the game that's primarily bet on,” says Gilroy. And the networks feed the frenzy. "The NFL is no longer just a Sunday game. They now have Monday Night Football, Thursday night football, wild card weekends—it just goes on and on. They've expanded the franchises and therefore expanded the game.”

And when you watch the network games, "You realize that they kind of cater to gamblers,” adds Caruso. "They talk about point spreads, favorites, who they're picking and make it interesting. Guys in Vegas set the line, and after that it boils down to flipping a coin. You realize it's a 50-50 gamble.”

"Sports advisors are almost like psychologists,” comments Caruso. "First, they have to figure out what your needs are. Then they have to g

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