Lili Reinhart Texted ‘Hustlers’ Director Everyday to Check on Her Performance

Much of the discussion around Hustlers rightly revolves around the terrific performance of star Jennifer Lopez. But the rest of the cast also made waves in the true story about strippers during the financial crisis. Lili Reinhart appeared in the movie in arguably her most prestigious film role so far in her career. Acting can be a stressful experience for anyone, but having to perform alongside established actors is especially nerve-wracking. Her anxiety made itself known via a number of texts to the director Lorene Scafaria asking for approval of her work.  

Lili Reinhart had a small, but important role in ‘Hustlers’

lili reinhart
Lili Reinhart attends the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 28, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey. | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

In Hustlers, Reinhart plays Annabelle, the youngest and most innocent of the scamming crew. Like the rest of the stripper sisterhood in the movie, she’s having a hard time making ends meet. But her age puts her in slightly different circumstances than her peers. Annabelle was kicked out of her parent’s house when they found out what her job was. In her first scene, she is crying in the club locker room because her period started and she has no idea how to hide it given her revealing outfit. 

She is also prone to vomiting when she is overwhelmed. (In an interview with Refinery29, Reinhart disclosed that the vomit mixture was made of crushed-up animal crackers and Sprite.) Her anxiety never goes away, but she does become part of Ramona’s (Lopez) chosen family of women hoping to game the system for profit. 

Her constant texting of the director was the result of nerves

While doing promo for her Netflix rom-com Look Both WaysReinhart appeared on an episode of Wired’s Autocomplete Interview. Around the 3:11 mark, she is asked about her role in Hustlers. She explains that even though she was delighted to be there, the pressure of sharing screen time with the likes of Lopez and Keke Palmer made her nervous. 

“It was very intimidating working on Hustlers, with such big names and movie stars, so I felt a little out of place there,” Reinhart said. “But I was just happy to be there and texting the director at the end of every day asking, ‘Am I doing okay? Am I good? Am I gonna get fired?'”: Fortunately, her fellow actors were there to soothe her worries. “I was feeling a little insecure, but the girls on the set made me feel so welcome and it was a really fun experience.”

It wasn’t the first example of Reinhart receiving support from the creative team. She told Entertainment Tonight that when she heard earned the role, her first instinct was to hit the gym. Scafaria politely let her know that such an effort wasn’t necessary. “This movie is about celebrating women of different sizes,'” Reinhart remembered. “She’s like, ‘You’re perfect the way you are.'”

The conversation gave Reinhart a higher level of security that the set of Hustlers would be a pleasant place to be. “That was very sweet to hear,” she said. “I feel like — obviously — there are so many people who would say the opposite and try and put me on a fitness regime and diet plan.”

She is a star on the rise thanks to ‘Riverdale’ and her openness about her personal life

Reinhart is best known for her work in Riverdale as Betty Cooper. The melodramatic teen soap has earned criticism for its outlandish plotlines in recent years. But the unpredictable trajectory of it all allows Reinhart to display her talents in different ways. And its success has also allowed her to create a brand around her personality that is both lucrative and endearing. 

Reinhart has also drawn acclaim for her willingness to be publicly vulnerable when discussing her mental health and her sexuality. Considering what we know about her, it’s not surprising that she would be so forthright about her nervousness during production. 

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