While David O. Russell has entered a much publicized new phase of his career, with “The Fighter,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “American Hustle,” and “Joy,” marking the transition from his earlier, more eclectic indie pictures to something sturdier, old habits die hard. The director, whose tantrum on the set of “I Heart Huckabees” famously went viral, and who clashed with George Clooney on the set of “Three Kings,” still maintains an open atmosphere on set, one that encourages improvisation, and pushes the actors to their limits. However, it’s a fine line between inspiration and isolation.
In a talk with GQ, Amy Adams reflects on the making of “American Hustle,” and she doesn’t have the fondest memories. “He did [make me cry]. I was really just devastated on set. I mean, not every day, but most. Jennifer [Lawrence] doesn’t take any of it on. She’s Teflon. And I am not Teflon. But I also don’t like to see other people treated badly,” she said. “It’s not ok with me. Life to me is more important than movies. It really taught me how to separate work and home. Because I was like, I cannot bring this experience home with me to my daughter.”
During the promotion of “American Hustle,” Amy Adams had a different account of making the movie, telling Russell during a press conference, “I think you exemplify a heightened reality. Not everything in reality is subtle and slow. When I lose my cool in life it is over the top. I’m over the top sometimes, that’s how we are as humans and we all have examples in our lives [of this]. David finds moments where this ‘pushed reality’ is the truth. It’s the truth for these characters.”
All that being said, time can cast experiences in new light, and even though Adams earned an Oscar nomination for her work in the film (and for her performance in “The Fighter”), as she explains above, the process, if it hurts her and others, isn’t worth it no matter the result.
So you can probably count Adams out for working with Russell again, and the while the director once expressed a desire to make a musical with the actress, that probably won’t be happening.