By Peter Knegt | Indiewire February 8, 2014 at 1:25PM
David O. Russell's "American Hustle" is already a massive hit in America, with box office and Oscar nominations both pouring in. But it made its German debut at the Berlin International Film Festival Friday night, which is actually the first (and likely only) film festival "American" hustled its way to. Which gave its director and stars an opportunity to offer thoughts on the film -- and a lot of other things -- at the film's Berlinale press conference. Here's some highlights:
David O. Russell when a German journalist asks him "how he made Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence win Oscars": "I appreciate that you speak English and I apologize for not speaking German. I think German's a very beautiful language and I wish I spoke it. But we would never say that I made these guys win anything. I would say that it was my privilege to aspire and to create a predicament that is twisted and human and allows them to have roles that will show as much behavior and emotion as possible. That's my goal. I want to deliver that to them. It's my job. To create a role that is vast and complicated and emotional..."
Bradley Cooper, meanwhile, when asked how he learned to speak French: "I was fortunate enough in college to study my junior Spring semester in the south of France. I went to school there and took courses in French. I just sort of kept it."
Christian Bale on his character's epic combover: "For me it was so unexpected to see this con artist having such an unconvincing con on his head. And that he was so brilliant at what he did but so terrible at what he did on top of his head. There was a great juxtaposition in it. It became a very vital thing to add to it. And very charming as well. Generally people think of con men being very slick and maybe vain and certainly very smooth operators. We didn't want to make Irv that."
David O. Russell on how Robert DeNiro didn't recognize Christian Bale on the set of "American Hustle": "[Robert DeNiro] said 'who's that guy?' I said you just shook his hand, it's Christian Bale. And he said 'no, the fat guy.' And I said 'that's Christian Bale! That guy.' And he said 'wow, he looks really different.' Which is a big compliment from Bob. Who went over and properly introduced himself, because the first time went Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, fat guy, Jennifer Lawrence.."
Christian Bale how David O. Russell likes to hide places on set: "One of the funniest things for me on set was watching where David was going to hide. He always likes to be very close to the actors. He likes to be able to feel the atmosphere of the scene. So literally he'd be trying to hide under our chairs and the DP would be 'no David, I see you there.' And then he'd be jumping over a table somewhere and finding a spot where he could be very close and get a sense of being right there with us.