Jerry and Marge Go Large: Annette Bening, Bryan Cranston and Larry Wilmore on the wholesome goodness of an uplifting true story

In a world of cynicism, decay and excess, sometimes an uplifting story is just the antidote we need.

Jerry and Marge Selby’s story was wild in the best possible way.

With a sharp mind and a penchant for puzzling things out, Jerry discovered a loophole in a lottery game that he exploited to win $26 million in nine years. And it was all perfectly legal.

The Selbys are retirees from Michigan, and for years they drove from their home all the way to Massachusetts, where they would spend days printing tickets and then searching each piece of paper for the winning numbers.

But it wasn’t all for them. The Selbys shared their happiness with their community, improving their town and helping their family and friends. It’s a good news story.

It was a story that also proved irresistible to Hollywood, turning the Selbys’ story into… Jerry and Marge are going bigstarring Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening.

The Selbys’ wholesome story goes against the grain of the most talked-about movies and TV shows, highlighting a slice of American culture now rarely seen around the world, so focused are we all on the worst of America’s decline and excesses.

“It’s hard to make a story without cynicism right now because the stakes are clearly very high right now, all over the world and especially in America,” Bening told news.com.au. “There are so many polarized people, and the political atmosphere is also very polarized.

“So, to find the true story of Jerry who finds a flaw in the lottery system and they go to their friends, their kids and their community and say, ‘Hey guys, join us’ – this movie celebrates the fact that with this people and it didn’t make them more cynical and it didn’t make them more greedy Or cause a terrible tragedy.

“It celebrates a really positive part of human nature that is really truthful.”

Bening said reading the script, which had come to her during the difficult days of the pandemic, cheered her up.

“It was an easy choice for me,” she added. “It really made me happy, it made me laugh and I thought: this is what we need now.”

Cranston also saw the gem on the page. “When you read something and it resonates with you and has meaning and pathos to you, you trust that that’s the feeling an audience will have.

“That you can turn that around and present it to them and they’ll feel the same. That is the hope and you have to trust your instinct that you have chosen wisely. Jerry and Marge created that kind of effect.

“It turned out exactly as I had hoped: a sweet, loving, positive and uplifting adventure.”

Cranston also pointed to Bening as one reason he enjoyed the experience so much, that she was someone he not only got along with, but also appreciated. And that is not always the case.

“There have been people who have gone unnamed that I have not liked working with, and as you get older, you want that less and less. I don’t want to spend six weeks with someone I know will be work.”

That mutual respect and admiration translates on-screen, where their on-screen counterparts, the fictionalized Jerry and Marge, have an easy, loving relationship reminiscent of the type of American storytelling that almost feels like it was part of a bygone era. .

Co-star Larry Wilmore agreed that there used to be more of the… Jerry and Marge kind of stories now.

“The American film industry turned and went into the anti-hero thing, and deconstructing life more than showing this stuff,” Wilmore said. “I think there’s still a lot of that getting the credit because it’s not always a headline grabber.

“So we’re covering more of the destruction that’s going on. Unfortunately, a lot of bad things happen, but there are also a lot of good things. And I hope this gives people hope that [the Selbys’ story] can happen because we didn’t make this up, this story is true.

“When I read the script, I thought ‘Thank you, we need these kinds of stories’. It wasn’t flashy, it was just real.”

Jerry and Marge Go Large can be seen on Paramount+ from Saturday 17 June

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