It’s more than just his body of work. (Although we definitely think that AMERICAN HUSTLE is the movie of 2013.) It’s Russell’s convictions that set our hearts aflutter:
David O. Russell on ‘American Hustle’ and Why He Refuses to Make a Hollywood Blockbuster
by Erik Davis
You never know what you’re going to get when you talk to David O. Russell. Once known as a hot-tempered director who gets into fist fights with his cast members while on set, Russell is still someone whose mind races from here to there to everywhere, but these days it’s not anger or fear pouring out, it’s passion; ridiculous amounts of passion for the characters he’s creating and the stories he’s telling. Thanks to a string of critical hits including The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and now American Hustle, Russell seems much happier with his work than ever before.
Hidden somewhere in each of those three movies is a piece of a filmmaker once lost that is now found, with much of his recent success resting on the shoulders of characters Russell has known his whole life — he just hadn’t discovered them yet. We spoke with Russell about this newfound love of his work as the writer-director was en route from New York to Europe to begin promoting American Hustle across the pond, and our unconventional conversation began with us pitching Russell a T-shirt based on our favorite scene in the movie.
Movies.com: One of the best scenes in the movie is the microwave scene. You should print T-shirts based solely on that scene.
David O. Russell: [Laughs] Which line? How would you do it?
Movies.com: Keep it simple. Just a T-shirt with a picture of a microwave, and above it you put the words “F***ing Science Oven.” I would wear the hell out of that.
Russell: [Laughs] I love it!
Movies.com: It’s a great scene, and it’s only one of so many funny, quotable scenes in this film. What’s your favorite scene?
Russell: Oh boy, that’s a tough one. I love when they’re in love and they’re dancing, from the dry cleaners to the hotel. That’s very magical to me. I also love the scene where Amy [Adams], Christian [Bale] and Bradley [Cooper] are all talking in the apartment. Where Christian says, “I’m like the Viet Cong. I was in, I was out, I was there the whole time – you didn’t even know it.” What I look for first and foremost is characters. They don’t just fall off trees –