Everyone loves a good scam film and Queenpins starring Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste has arrived to scam the day!
Like Hustlers, Queenpins is also loosely inspired by a real-life tale. It focuses on “a bored and frustrated suburban homemaker, Connie (Bell) and her best pal JoJo (Howell-Baptiste), a vlogger with dreams, who turn a hobby into a multi-million dollar counterfeit coupon caper. After firing off a letter to the conglomerate behind a box of cereal gone stale, and receiving an apology along with dozens of freebies, the duo hatch an illegal coupon club scheme that scams millions from mega-corporations and delivers deals to legions of fellow coupon clippers.” The film also stars Paul Walter Hauser, Vince Vaughn and Bebe Rexha.
Ahead of the film’s release, Shadow and Act spoke with Bell and Howell-Baptiste about their roles and why this project was one that enticed them.
“It’s always my dream to receive a script that says based on true events on the cover because a lot of those events are crazier than anything you could ever think of in a writer’s mind,” said Bell. “But what I loved is that it was telling this very real story of these two women who really did create this counterfeit coupon organization and launder $40 million that they were true queenpins. They were running this empire, but because it came out of the emotion of feeling completely discounted and discarded. And I think that I loved it so much because the filmmakers did a great job of adding such specific character traits to each of us that allowed you within the first 10 minutes to go, ‘I’m going to root for that girl. I am going to root for her. I’m going to root for them.’ And then half an hour into the movie, you realize, ‘Oh, I’m rooting for the criminal,’ but you just don’t care.”
Howell-Baptiste also talked about how the film’s characters are so relatable to the point where you root for them. The actress also talked about the theme of chosen family.
“I think what makes them relatable is they are two people who have been overlooked,” she said. “They’ve been people who have been caused aside and underestimated. I think a lot of people in this world can relate to that feeling. And I think a lot of people can relate to the feeling of knowing that there is more out that and realizing that it’s on you to go out and get it. I hope that people have really beautiful friends and friendships where they feel trust and they feel supported, but I think what it goes beyond in this is that they’ve almost become the family that each other have chosen.”
She continued, “It’s just JoJo and her mom, her dad’s passed away. And then with Connie, it’s her and she’s in this house in this relationship that really isn’t serving her or satisfying her in any way. And when they find each other, they find the companionship they need. And I think, particularly given the last year and a half, people haven’t necessarily been able to be around their family. So it’s so much more about the people you have chosen to be around, the people you’ve made into a support system. And I hope people go to the cinema with those support systems and feel like, ‘Yeah, we’ve made this family and this is solid.'”
Watch the full interview below: