Ben Mendelsohn Joins 'Mississippi Grind' Alongside Jake Gyllenhaal
American audiences might not be familiar with the name Ben Mendelsohn quite yet, but it shouldn't be long before that changes. The Australian actor has already turned in a number of solid supporting performances in movies as diverse as Animal Kingdom, Killing Them Softly, The Dark Knight Rises, and the upcoming The Place Beyond the Pines, but now it looks like he's headed for a bigger spotlight as Variety reports he'll play one of the lead roles opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the new gambling film Mississippi Grind with Half-Nelson duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson) writing and directing. Read on!
Gyllenhaal is also producing the film, which follows a young gambling addict who teams with a washed up gambler fraught with debt as the two travel through the South to hopefully change their luck. Gyllenhaal plays the younger gambler, while Mendelsohn, who is eleven years older than Jake, stars as the older down-and-out player. Mendelsohn has been showcasing his talent stateside for quite a while - he played one of the crazy brothers in the mountain climbing actioner Vertical Limit back in 2000 - and continuing to work with big name talent (including Gyllenhaal, who impressed a lot of folks with his work in End of Watch) is a great way to make sure his proverbial star stays on the rise.
Boden and Fleck have teamed for some pretty impressive work so far, and I've always been a sucker for gambling films, so I'm hoping their take on this story lives up to its full potential. Variety also reminds us that Mendelsohn is also slated to star in Ryan Gosling's directorial debut How to Catch a Monster, so it'll be interesting to see how he works under his Place Beyond the Pines co-star on that feature. We're looking forward to seeing how his career develops, and hopefully Mississippi Grind gets him closer to the A-list.