Gemma Arterton stars alongside Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake in “Runner Runner” wherein her role as Rebecca Shafran is entangled in the cutthroat world of online gambling.
“Runner Runner” explores the multi-billion dollar industry of online gambling where all players are supposed to have their share, in any which way possible. Affleck takes on the role of gambling kingpin Ivan Block while Timberlake is Richie Furst, a brilliant Princeton grad student on his way to finishing his masters. Furst, in order to further finance his studies takes commissions from online gambling operators and risks playing online too for additional money. When Richie betted all of his savings and lost it to Block’s operations, he soon finds out that he’s been tricked. Determined to recollect his tuition money, he heads to Costa Rica to confront Block about his malicious online practices. Soon thereafter, Richie falls for Block’s associate –sophisticated COO Rebecca Shafran (Gemma Arterton) – and he embraces a world that sees all of his fantasies come to life. But Richie soon learns that Block is wanted for racketeering, extortion and bribery, and that FBI Special Agent Shavers (Anthony Mackie) is obsessed with bringing Block and his associates to justice.
“The real allure of Block’s world transcends money,” says director Brad Furman. It’s about something far more interesting – and dangerous. “The real equation in this movie is money times power equals sex. You ask men why they want money and power, and the answer usually is: women. That’s the bottom line.”
The distaff representative of this world is Rebecca Shafren, Block’s sharp and powerful COO, whose loyalty to Block is tested when she meets Richie. English-born Gemma Arterton portrays Rebecca. A gambling novice, Arterton nevertheless embraced the role. “I really liked the script, which I thought was clever and witty, and it portrayed a world I wanted to investigate.”
“I really like Rebecca,” Arterton continues. “She's almost villainous in certain ways, and she’s never predictable. “Runner Runner” is about power, wealth and greed. I was intrigued by Rebecca’s desire to live in this world, which is indicative of how many women believe they must act – in an almost masculine way – in order to succeed.”
“When Richie arrives in Costa Rica and meets Rebecca, she is very much the business person in control; she’s very tough, almost like a femme fatale,” Arterton continues. “But she also enjoys having fun. She sees this sexy, young guy and thinks, ‘I'll play around with him for a bit.’ She finds out that he's actually quite clever and smart, and he's different from other people she knows and works with. Rebecca has a real dilemma: she covets the wealth that comes with her position, and yet also rediscovers her moral bearings through her relationship with Richie. And she begins to change her outlook on Block and her position in his empire.”
A (2011) BAFTA nominee as Best Newcomer, Gemma Arterton is mostly known for the roles she played in the previously released blockbusters “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters,” “Clash of the Titans,” “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” “Quantum of Solace” and “RocknRolla.” She has most recently been seen in the highly anticipated “Byzantium” directed by Neil Jordan and written by Moira Buffini, in which she stars as vampire Clara opposite Saoirse Ronan. Her other film works include “Song for Marion,” “Tamara Drewe,” “The Disappearance of Alice Creed,” “The Boat that Rocked,” “Three and Out,” “St. Trinians” and in the animated “A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventure” as her debut voice role.
“Runner Runner” opens September 26 in theaters nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.For more movie updates and non-spoiler, quality reviews, follow Mark_Templar on Twitter.