About midway through “Hustlers,” the riveting Jennifer Lopez/Constance Wu vehicle that is about so much more than strippers, the girls are celebrating the free-flowing cash of the pre-recession days of 2008 when Lizzo – who, like Cardi B, could have been used more – breathlessly announces that a celebrity has entered the strip club.
As “Love in This Club” booms in the background and bills are tossed in the air, a grinning Usher, in all of his Usher-ian swagger, strolls in with his posse. The scene unfolds in slo-motion – the better to appreciate this perfectly cast cameo – and Usher strides to the stage, tucking dollar bills into the G-string sported by Lopez’s Ramona.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the snappiest part of the scene was improvised, with Ramona leaning into the Atlanta R&B star’s face and purring, “What’s your name?” The response? “Ursher, baby.” Of course.
Lorene Scafaria, the writer-director of “Hustlers,” told the LAT that Usher texted her the day after filming his scene.
“He was hoping we all had a good time and he was joking around saying that these were things he’d heard about people doing at the strip clubs ... making it rain,” she said with a laugh.
“Hustlers” is a prime music showcase throughout, from the ideal opening with Janet Jackson’s “Control” to Ramona’s masterful pole dance to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” to her later strut down a New York street while Lorde’s “Royals” pulses in the background.
But that Usher appearance might be the biggest “get” of the year.
He, by the way, returned home recently to perform at One Musicfest with Pharrell Williams and a cadre of other Atlanta music stars. Ever the busy guy.
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