There's nothing "dumb" about it: When it comes to the cast of his latest film Dumb Money, director Craig Gillespie knows he has an embarrassment of, well, riches.
One match-up, he tells EW, had him particularly "thrilled" — seeing Paul Dano and Pete Davidson play brothers, Keith and Kevin Gill. In the film, which tells the wild true-life David vs. Goliath tale of the GameStop short squeeze of early 2021, the brothers give each other a lot of hell, including at one point getting into a slapping match in the backseat of their parent's car like a couple of children. These grown men couldn't be more different, which can also be said of the actors playing them.
Everett Collection Pete Davidson and Paul Dano star in 'Dumb Money'
"I was thrilled with the idea of Pete and Paul being in their scenes together, because Paul is such a classically trained actor, very meticulous about the spoken word, in absolutely the best way profoundly researched and prepared," Gillespie says of his leading man. However, Davidson, he says, "is so spontaneous and improvisational in the way that he approaches the work. So to see those two different energies come together in a room and elevate each other was so exciting to watch. It's like, oh, today we're going to get to see Pete and Paul fight in the backseat of a car with their parents in the front. What could be better?"
Dumb Money centers on Dano's Keith, an average Joe Redditor and YouTuber who starts a movement after sinking his life savings into GameStop stock and posting about it. When his social posts and videos start blowing up, a stock tip becomes a movement, and everyone gets rich — until the billionaires fight back, and both sides find their worlds turned upside down.
One such person who experiences upheaval is Jenny — a deeply in-debt nurse and longtime viewer of Keith's who follows his stock tip — played by America Ferrera. Gillespie says he was similarly thrilled to watch Ferrera, with whom he says he's always wanted to work, chew scenes in a part that he thinks is "not dissimilar" to her Barbie role earlier this summer. "I love that tone she can do, that dance between the humor and the drama. And she's such a strong mouthpiece for the really disenfranchised [in the film] and that anger and frustration — she had to be able to pull that off and do it with a deft touch and have some humor and still be accessible for the audience," he says. "She was such an anchor in the film."
Claire Folger America Ferrera in 'Dumb Money'
Vincent D'Onofrio, Nick Offerman, Anthony Ramos, Sebastian Stan, Shailene Woodley, and Seth Rogen also star in the film, which is written by Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo, based on the book The Antisocial Network by Ben Mezrich.
Dumb Money is now playing in select theaters and releases wide on Sept. 29.
Want more movie news? Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free newsletter to get the latest trailers, celebrity interviews, film reviews, and more.