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Who is Player X in Molly’s Game?

Who is Player X in Molly’s Game in real life?

Short answer – Molly’s Game, the popular 2017 biographical poker film that chronicles the life of high-stakes poker game host Molly Bloom, features an unnamed Hollywood actor known only as Player X, played by Michael Cera. According to speculation, Tobey Maguire might be the real inspiration behind Player X in ‘Molly’s Game.’ Reading the book and watching the movie, it’s pretty easy to determine that Player X is actually the OG Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire


Aaron Sorkin may not have been on the scene for very long, yet he’s already made quite a name for himself in the world of Hollywood, and has directed some real hits over the years.

With hits such as Being the Ricardos under his belt, along with writing credits on hits such as The West Wing and Steve Jobs, Sorkin is a very capable writer and director.

His directing debut came in 2017 with Molly’s Game, and six years later, we’re still talking about this movie and its complex characters.

The movie itself performed well and was praised by audiences and critics alike, yet there is one character, or rather, the inspiration behind one character in particular, who audiences have been particularly interested.

The character in question is none other than Player X.

But who is Player X in Molly’s Game, and who was the inspiration behind the character?

Keep on reading for more.

Molly’s Game plot

Before we can look at who is Player X in Molly’s Game, we first need to look at the plot of this popular movie.

Molly’s Game was released in 2017 and was the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin.

It is a biographical crime drama based on Molly Bloom’s 2014 memoir of the same name.

molly bloom player x

Molly Bloom – @Getty

The basic premise of the movie is that Molly Bloom, who is played by Jessica Chastain, becomes the target of a serious FBI investigation once they get wind that she is running an illegal underground poker empire for pro athletes, Hollywood movie stars, business tycoons, and Russian mobsters.

Molly finds herself getting deeper and deeper and taking metaphorical fire from both sides of the law.

Under pressure to expose the names of all involved, her actions eventually catch up with her.

The movie was critically acclaimed and virtually doubled its modest $30 million budget.

As the movie is based upon a true story, however, viewers, in particular, were especially interested in a character in the movie known as Player X, with many speculating that he is based upon a big name, or big names, from the world of Hollywood.

Who is Player X in Molly’s Game?Who is Player X in Molly’s Game in real life

Before we look at who Player X is in Molly’s Game, we’ll first bring you up to speed with who the character is in the movie, and why so many people have shown such interest in him.

First and foremost, Player X is played by Michael Cera, though this isn’t why people are talking about the character.

The reason people are so interested in Player X is due to the fact that he is alleged to be based on real-life celebrities.

Molly starts out working as a cocktail waitress in a poker club.

There, she meets the mysterious Player X, who is the most successful poker player there, and also happens to be a movie star.

Because Player X is based upon a movie star, many people began speculating that he was therefore based upon an actor, or actors, in Hollywood.

But more on that later, let’s get back to the plot.

As time passes by, Molly starts hosting her own poker games, and they grow in popularity.

She attracts more and more big names, including Player X. He convinces her to raise the stakes to make the games exciting.

Molly later finds out that Player X is a spiteful human being who, as well as enjoying playing poker, also takes great pride in making other people’s lives miserable.

Molly finds this out and chastises him, resulting in him finding a new venue for his poker games, and taking many of the high-profile players with him.

As you can see, Player X, despite having this mysterious aura about him, is, in fact, an awful human being with no redeeming qualities or features.

He has money and power, yes, but he abuses both, and some could argue that he represents the elite in general.

READ MORE: What disease does actor Sam Elliott have?

Is Player X based on a real person?

So, now that we know who Player X is in Molly’s Game, and indeed, who plays him on film, we need to address the rumors of Player X actually being based on real-life Hollywood celebrities, and look at whether this is true, or whether the character is simply fictitious.

While this is in no way verified, and while the character doesn’t represent them as human beings, it is rumored that Player X is based upon 3 celebrity poker players and gamblers who are big names in the world of Hollywood.

The character is rumored to be based on Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

who were the celebrities in molly's game


Those of you who have read Molly Bloom’s memoir will know that it is pretty obvious that Tobey Maguire is likely the biggest inspiration for the character, with hints of Leo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck’s personalities sprinkled in for good measure.

Now, in the movie, Player X is deliberately kept a mystery and is not named.

Molly’s book, however, and indeed, a memoir by another individual in a similar position, named Tobey Maguire, as being an integral part of the process.

It is alleged that Maguire brought Leo DiCaprio to the games, whereas Ben Affleck also brought big names along, including Matt Damon.

It is worth noting that, just because the character is alleged to be based upon these actors, that does not mean that that is how they behaved in real life.

Update – in June 2023, Michael Cera confirmed that Molly’s Game’s Player X was actually Tobey Maguire.

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