There's no denying that Hustlers stole a lot of hearts and made a whole lot of cash when it premiered in theaters around the globe in September of last year. While it didn't receive any Oscar love, even though it received awards consideration from various other organizations, writer/director Lorene Scafaria's true story-based crime dramedy proved to be an entertaining and captivating feature. And it was aided nicely by its assured ensemble, which included strong performances from Constance Wu and particularly Jennifer Lopez, in what's been celebrated as one of her finest screen roles.
Now that it's been a little over a year since the acclaimed film swayed its way into theaters, what's the esteemed cast of Hustlers doing now? Let's take a look and see!
Constance Wu (Destiny)
As Destiny, the newcomer to Moves who flies under Ramona's wing, particularly during her criminal endeavors, Constance Wu has the central role in Hustlers. Prior to this performance, Wu was best known for playing the lead character in Crazy Rich Asians, for which she was Golden Globe-nominated, and for her long-standing roles in ABC's Fresh Off the Boat and EastSiders. Wu also lent her voice to Next Gen and The Lego Ninjago Movie. And she starred in Sound of My Voice, Parallels, and The Feels.
Next, Constance Wu voices a character to Wish Dragon, which is expected to come out sometime next year. She also stars in a dramedy titled Low Budget Ethnic Movie, which is directed, written, edited, produced, and starring Daniel Yoon. Wu is also soon set to be seen in I Was a Simple Man, and the rom-com, Mr. Malcolm's List, which she's also producing.
Jennifer Lopez (Ramona Vega)
In the memorable role of Romana Vega, the veteran stripper who shows Destiny the ropes and eventually introduces her to a life of crime, Jennifer Lopez gave arguably the performance of her career in Hustlers. So much so that she seemed like an Oscar frontrunner, and many folks were mad when she wasn't even nominated. Alas, while the Academy didn't recognize her work, she certainly had more-than-a-few admirers.
Both as a musician and actress, Jennifer Lopez has established a long-standing career. Particularly as an actress, Lopez is known for Anaconda, Out of Sight, Maid in Manhattan, Monster-in-Law, Shall We Dance?, Gigli, The Cell, The Boy Next Door, Enough, The Wedding Planner, U-Turn, and Selena. She's also known for TV shows like In Living Color, Shades of Blue, and American Idol.
Next, JLo produces and stars in the romantic comedy-musical, Marry Me, which hits theaters in May. Likewise, she'll star in and produce The Godmother and Shotgun Wedding, both of which are in pre-production. She's also the host of NBC's World of Dance, which recently aired its fourth season.
Lili Reinhart (Annabelle)
Playing the part of Annabelle, a new-to-the-game stripper with a queasy stomach, Lili Reinhart played a standout supporting role in Hustlers. Most notably, Lili Reinhart is known for her role as Betty Cooper on The CW's Riverdale. She also appeared on Fox's Surviving Jack, and in episodes of Law & Order: SVU, Scientastic!, and The Simpsons. Additionally, Reinhart's film roles include The Kings of Summer, Miss Stevens, Forever's End, Galveston, The Good Neighbor, Not Waving But Drowning, Lilith, and a cameo in 2019's Charlie's Angels reboot.
Outside of her ongoing role in Riverdale, Lili Reinhart was most recently seen in Amazon Prime's romantic drama, Chemical Hearts, in August. She was also an executive producer on the movie. Currently, she doesn't have any additional roles lined up yet.
Keke Palmer (Mercedes)
As Mercedes, another stripper who becomes part of Destiny and Ramona's money-stealing enterprise, Keke Palmer played one of the main roles in Hustlers. First finding fame through her award-winning starring role in Akeelah and the Bee, Palmer is also known for Barbershop 2: Back in Business, The Longshots, Madea's Family Reunion, Shrink, Joyful Noise, and Pimp. She also played the title character in Nickelodeon's True Jackson, VP, and she starred in Winx Club, Scream Queens, Berlin Station, and MTV's Scream. She also hosted Just Keke.
Most recently, Keke Palmer appeared in 2 Minutes of Fame. She also stars in Turnt Up with the Taylors. And she was one-third of GMA3: Strahan, Sara & Keke, which was canceled this year. Next, Palmer plays the title role in Alice, which is now filming. She's also set to lend her voice to the new series, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.
Julia Stiles (Elizabeth)
In the role of Elizabeth, a journalist following Destiny's turn into criminality that's seen throughout the film, Julia Stiles provided the connective tissue for Hustlers' rambunctious story thread. The actress is best known for her supporting role in the Bourne franchise, as well as her leading roles in Wicked, 10 Things I Hate About You, Down to You, The Prince and Me, O, and Save the Last Dance. Additionally, Stiles is known for Silver Linings Playbook, Mona Lisa Smile, 2006's The Omen, It's a Disaster, A Guy Thing, and A Little Trip to Heaven. She also appeared in the fifth season of Dexter.
Currently, Julia Stiles can be seen in the third season of Riviera, which she frontlines. She'll also star in The God Committee, which will arrive next year. Additionally, Stiles is currently filming Esther, also known as Orphan: First Kill, which is a prequel to 2009's Orphan.
In her big-screen debut, Lizzo plays Liz, a fellow stripper at Moves, in Hustlers. As a chart-topping rapper-flutist, Lizzo has been raising her profile more and more throughout the years, and that includes a couple of acting roles along the way. In addition to this supporting turn, Lizzo provided a voice performance in 2019's UglyDolls.
As a musician, Lizzo has released three studio albums, 2013's Lizzobangers, 2016's Big Grrrl Small World, and 2019's Cuz I Love You, as well as 2016's EP, Coconut Oil. Her most well-known singles include "Good As Hell," "Truth Hurts," "Juice," and "Tempo." Earlier this year, Lizzo won three Grammys, including Best Urban Contemporary Album, for her latest studio album. Additionally, Lizzo was recognized as Time Magazine's Entertainer of the Year last year.
Cardi B (Diamond)
While she has been making a name for herself as one of the hottest rappers in the business right now, Hustlers is Cardi B's official screen debut, as she doesn't have any other film or television credits to her name outside of music videos and talk show appearances. Every actor or actress needs to start their career somewhere, and Hustlers is a pretty damn good place to kick off your acting career. Even though she's surrounded by veteran talents and up-and-coming performers, Cardi B certainly holds her own here, proving to be a charismatic and dynamic screen performer. It definitely wouldn't be surprising if this movie launched a stable acting career in Cardi B's future.
Nevertheless, she's already doing exceptionally well in the music world, with a Grammy to her name and several other accolades to boot. That said, Cardi B is soon expected to be seen in F9.
Mercedes Ruehl (Mama)
As Mama, the club's den mother, Mercedes Ruehl played a watchful and mindful older maternal figure in Hustlers. A multi-award-winning actress with an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Tony to her name, Ruehl is an incredibly accomplished actress who sadly doesn't get her full due today. Her most well-known performance is in The Fisher King, for which she won her Oscar. Her other notable screen credits include Big, Radio Days, Heartburn, Married to the Mob, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Last Action Hero, and Roseanna's Grave. Additionally, Ruehl appeared in episodes of Frasier, Law & Order, Entourage, Psych, Law & Order: SVU, Life in Pieces, NCIS, 2 Broke Girls, and The Mysteries of Laura. She also had a recurring role in Power.
Hustlers was Mercedes Ruehl's most recent film role. Additionally, the actress reprised her role as Judge Tessa Hudson in a 2019 episode of CBS's Bull.
Madeline Brewer (Dawn)
In the role of Dawn, a drug-addled hire whom Destiny finds unreliable, Madeline Brewer played a prominent role in Hustlers' second half. Most notably, the actress is known for her work in Netflix's Orange Is the New Black, Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, and her leading role in the horror movie, Cam. Additionally, she appeared in Netflix's Hemlock Grove. Her other film credits include Flesh and Blood, Captive State, Braid, and Hedgehog. Brewer also appeared in Grimm, Black Mirror, The Deleted, and Stalker. Her other credits include the short films, Marie Celeste, from last year and this year's The One. Also, the actress played a prominent part in John Cameron Mitchell's musical podcast, Anthem: Homunculus.
Most recently, Madeline Brewer starred in Now Is Everything, which is currently in the film festival circuits, and the newest season of The Handmaid's Tale. Her upcoming films include The Ultimate Playlist of Noise and Separation.
Wai Ching Ho (Destiny’s Grandmother)
As Destiny's caring and concerning grandmother, Wai Ching Ho played a key emotional supporting role in Hustlers. Outside of this performance, viewers might know Wai Ching Ho best for playing Madame Gao in Netflix's Daredevil, Iron Fist, and The Defenders, respectively. Her other TV credits include Law & Order, One Life to Live, Fresh Off the Boat, New Amsterdam, Flight of the Conchords, Blue Bloods, Orange is the New Black, The Jim Gaffigan Show, and Law & Order: SVU. Additionally, Ho appeared in Cadillac Man, Robot Stories, Premium Rush, Tracers, Adventures of Power, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Set It Up.
Most recently, Wai Ching Ho appeared in an episode of Comedy Central's Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens. She also starred in Lucky Grandma, which came out virtually earlier this year. Next, she'll star in a pair of short films, klutz. and A Father's Son, as well as the dramedy, Joyful.
Trace Lysette (Tracey)
In the role of Tracey, a fellow stripper working at Moves, Trace Lysette plays a prominent part in Hustlers. Outside of this performance, Lysette is best known for her work on Amazon Prime's acclaimed drama series, Transparent. She also appeared in Blunt Talk, Pose, Law & Order: SVU, Drunk History, Midnight, Texas, David Makes Man, and Coffee House Chronicles: The Movie. Additionally, Lysette appeared in short films like 2015's Bloody Mary and 2017's Deadbeat, as well as the music videos for Maroon 5's "Girls Like You" and Cher's "SOS." The actress can be seen in the reality TV series, I Am Cait, and the reality competition series, RuPaul's Drag Race. She was also recently an interview subject in Netflix's documentary, Disclosure.
Most recently, Trace Lysette reprised her role as Shea in Transparent's musical series finale last year. Next, she'll star in Venus as a Boy and Monica.
In the role he was born to play, Usher makes a starry cameo appearance in the middle of Hustlers. Though he's known primarily as a musician, he has kept a consistent acting career in both film and television, including leading man performances in In the Mix and Light It Up, as well as notable supporting turns in She's All That, The Faculty, Gepetto, Moesha, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, 7th Heaven, Soul Food, Texas Rangers, Killers, Scary Movie 5, Muppets Most Wanted, Hands of Stone, and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. He was also seen in various episodes of NBC's The Voice.
Earlier this year, Usher starred in Hulu's Bad Hair. Additionally, the actor-musician was seen in the drama, Burden, which premiered at Sundance in 2018 and got its formal theatrical release earlier this year. He also recently directed the music video for his single, "I Cry."
Did you love Hustlers? Who's your favorite character or cast member? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below!
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.