- “Hustlers” director Lorene Scafaria explained how she pulled off the movie’s surprise cameo.
- “It brought tears to my eyes,” she said about shooting the scene.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Warning: Spoilers below if you haven’t seen “Hustlers.”
Months after shooting the movie, “Hustlers” director Lorene Scafaria still can’t believe she got that cameo.
It was an idea that came to her when writing the first draft of the movie back in 2016. Early in the movie, before the characters played by Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu turn to drugging unsuspecting Wall Street suits, they are instead just stripping for them. And there’s a moment when Scafaria shows just how much money was being thrown around before the financial collapse.
During another full night at the club, things get turned up a notch when Usher enters. First, we see the women backstage going crazy when they hear he’s arrived, and then, as they all scurry to the stage, Scafaria cuts to a shot of the real Usher walking in to his hit 2008 single, “Love in This Club.”
Suddenly women are all around him and the famous R&B singer – sporting a cap, jacket, and sunglasses – is throwing dollar bills in the air to their delight.
Scafaria said getting to Usher wasn’t the big challenge, thanks to star Jennifer Lopez. But when the writer-director started talking to the recording artist, things got a bit tricky.
“It took a little bit of convincing because he was concerned he wasn’t going to look the same as he did in 2008, and I said, ‘You look the same,'” Scafaria told Business Insider.
Finally Usher agreed to come in and shoot the scene. And the hat, jacket, and sunglasses he has on in the scene were not the movie’s wardrobe: that’s what he had on when he showed up to set.
“The girls knew he was coming,” Scafaria said. “Everybody knew it was Usher day and they were very excited.”
The Usher cameo comes at the portion of the movie that shows the women at their height. After that, the financial crisis hits and they try to figure out how to continue to make money. For Scafaria, the Usher scene is the perfect note to end on for that part of the movie.
“That was honestly one of the highlights of my life seeing all the girls on stage together,” Scafaria said. “It felt like a Renaissance painting when we shot it. It brought tears to my eyes. Usher really did bring it.”
“Hustlers” is currently playing in theaters.