Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom in "Molly's Game."

(Michael Gibson courtesy STXfilms)

Molly Bloom was back in Colorado recently, fresh off an appearance at the Oscars and a publicity tour. The woman whose life story inspired the film "Molly's Game" was here doing what she loves: skiing.

"I don't know why I ever left Colorado. I'm in heaven here," Bloom tells Colorado Matters.

The real Molly Bloom.

(Courtesy Molly Bloom)

Bloom was once a world-class freestyle skier, before an unlikely accident dashed her Olympic dreams. She went on to run high-stakes poker games in Los Angeles and New York for the likes of Leonardo DiCapprio and Alex Rodriguez -- and ended up in the crosshairs of the FBI.

"Molly's Game" was directed by Aaron Sorkin, who also earned an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay for his script based on Bloom's memoir. The film is available now streaming and on disc. It stars Jessica Chastain as Bloom and Idris Elba as her criminal defense attorney.

The film lays bare all the glamour of Bloom's life -- and all the bad decisions. She says she wanted to tell it on screen in order to "save her own life" and climb out of the financial debt she'd acquired. And, "I thought that the story was the best way for a convicted felon who's millions of dollars in debt to maybe do some reputation repair, you know?"

Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom with Idris Elba as her attorney in a scene from "Molly's Game."

(Michael Gibson courtesy STXfilms)

Highlights From The Interview

On the film's portrayal of the accident that ended her skiing career:

"I think everybody can relate to that: There's this moment, this unexpected thing happens, and the trajectory of your life is completely changed. And in those moments, you fixate on that moment and you relive it a million times, because you don't have hindsight and you don't have Aaron Sorkin to connect the dots. But it was so interesting to watch it as an observer, to see how your life lines up because of those 'tripping on a stick' moments."

On how the end of her Olympic dreams helped lead her to high-stakes poker:

"I grew up in this ridiculously high-achieving family. You know, I have a brother that is a world champion, two-time Olympian and played in the NFL. I have another brother who is a Harvard-educated cardiothoracic surgeon. And I had just seen two of my biggest dreams sort of die. And so, I so wanted to have a significant life, and I so wanted to establish myself in a unique way. And it was exciting. And how do you find something that fills the space of being a U.S. ski team athlete?"

On the unexpected benefits of telling her story on-screen:

"Getting really honest is super liberating. Just owning it all really allows you to find some freedom in it. I get messages all the time, on a daily basis, from people who've said, 'You've inspired me to keep going after I've made all these mistakes, or to reinvent myself."

On whether her family is proud of her now:

"They're very proud of me now... from how I handled standing up for the consequences of the mistakes that I'd made. Not telling on people. And there's a big source of pride that I had this dream of writing and publishing a memoir and then getting -- specifically -- Aaron Sorkin to write it... But I think the largest source of pride by far is what I've done since, which is: get sober, take responsibility for everything, make it a real life goal of mine to be a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend, a better human being. And showing up and doing the work."