KM: Casinos are like movie sets. You know, an enclosed world of playing, making money, losing, performing, with the big star and the character actors and the extras. Rules and chaos at every turn. It's a separate universe that anyone off the street walking into feels immediately intimidated or confused by.
GS: Yes. I like that analogy. It's a lot like that. We are the living embodiment of a sequel to California Split 2. I mean, this is it.
EG: The level of risk what you're talking about is for sure …
JW: And they split … these two magnificent actors in this picture, these characters, they split. The beauty, certainly aided with Altman too. And then the idea of gambling. We've all been to Vegas. Do you ever watch the faces there? Do you ever watch the people who have never gambled? They are so excited. And you pay for that excitement. But to look underneath, underneath all that, there is a trap. There is a sadness. And for the George character, I always thought, this is the kind who would always end up in trouble. He gambles because something is missing in his life. I didn't even know what that was. What was missing. Even when I was writing. And we didn't need to know. His gambling is a way to kill the something that's missing. Whereas Elliott's character gambles as a way of life. His emotional content for everything and the laws that he steals time away … these are the words, "I steal time. I can't steal any more time." And to see that come together as a writer, and to see the two actors pull that off to such an extent, I'm not even that amazed anymore. You watch it again and it's not dated at all because these feelings and these things are never gonna stop. In the world of gambling, they will never stop. These emotional feelings.