SAG Awards Voters Get First Look at ‘American Hustle’ Muscle

Sony hosts its first public screening with Q&A featuring film's director, stars

Sony held its first public screening Sunday of “American Hustle,” for an audience consisting largely of SAG Awards nominating-committee members — an appropriate move, since David O. Russell clearly loves actors and the feeling is mutual. Reviews are embargoed for another week, but suffice it to say: Big thumbs up.

SAG ballots went in the mail a few days ago, so the film’s timing is good. At a Q&A following the screening at the Cary Grant Theatre on the Sony lot, much of the talk centered around the performances and the director’s work with the cast, most of whom he’d worked with before.

Russell was asked what drew him to the script and he said, “I got very excited about these actors playing these roles.”

He added, “I feel all my work was leading to these three films,” referring to “The Fighter,” last year’s “Silver Linings Playbook” and now “Hustle.” All of them includes themes he likes in a script, such as romance and reinvention.

Amy Adams praised Russell for “going against type” in his casting. Asked about improvising on the set, she said Russell is so spontaneous, “You have to be lubricated…wait, that sounds wrong. I meant like an engine!”

Adams praised Christian Bale, too. “He is such a hero to me….He’s such a rock.” And she praised Jennifer Lawrence as “fearless and so much fun to work with,” while Bradley Cooper has “tireless positivity” — and is a good dancer.

One of the film’s editors, Jay Cassidy, also praised Cooper, who spent time in the editing room and always was generous in his suggestions about other actors. And Russell said that the character played by Jeremy Renner was “the heart that’s under the whole thing.”

The panel also included Renner, actress Elisabeth Rohm, casting director Mary Vernieu and costume designer Michael Wilkinson. He and Adams said their next project is the Superman-Batman movie, but politely declined to divulge any details. Adams said she still hasn’t read a script for it.

Russell did a pretty respectable Bob Hoskins impression. The actor had told Bale, “Acting: It’s not from the ears up, it’s from the feet up.” That “from the feet up” became the motto of Bale’s character in the film.

The Q&A was conducted by Variety’s very own Jenelle Riley.

More Film

  • 'The Current War' Trailer: Benedict Cumberbatch,

    Benedict Cumberbatch and Nicholas Hoult Feud in 'The Current War' Trailer (Watch)

    101 Studios has released an official new trailer for the Martin Scorcese-produced thriller, “The Current War,”  offering a glimpse into the dramatic 19th century battle over electricity that became known as the “war of the currents.” The film, which is a dramatization of real-life events, will follow the tumultuous journey of Thomas Edison, played by [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Oscars: 31 Upcoming Films That Could Enter the Awards Race

    The year reaches the halfway mark on June 30, and traditionally films from the first six months have an uphill battle in the Oscar race. However, this year’s January-June crop might get a boost from the accelerated schedule: Nominations voting is a tight Jan. 2-Jan. 7, 2020. So if voters start their homework now, early [...]

  • Yesterday Movie Danny Boyle

    Danny Boyle on 'Yesterday,' Leaving 'Bond 25' and Why the Beatles Still Rock

    Danny Boyle would like to reintroduce you to the Beatles. The iconic foursome certainly needs no introduction, but in his movie “Yesterday,” which debuts June 28, the director envisions a word where nobody has heard of John, Paul, George and Ringo. That is, nobody besides Jack Malik. When the struggling songwriter, portrayed by newcomer Himesh [...]

  • Svensk Filmindustri SF Studios logo

    Warner Bros, SF Studios Expand Distribution Deal Across Scandinavia

    Warner Bros. Pictures has expanded its distribution deal with SF Studios to include Sweden and have their movies released by the Nordic major through all of Scandinavia. Warner Bros. Pictures already has a distribution pact with SF Studios in Denmark, Norway and Finland. Under the partnership, SF Studios has been handling the sales, marketing and [...]

  • Nicole Kidman Meryl Streep

    Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman to Star in Ryan Murphy's 'The Prom' at Netflix

    Ryan Murphy enlisted a star-studded cast for his upcoming Netflix movie “The Prom,” an adaptation of the Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Awkwafina, James Corden, Ariana Grande, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells are among the A-listers bringing “The Prom” to screens. “The Prom” follows a lesbian student in the fictional conservative town of [...]

  • Viktor Dvorak, Anna Geislerova Join Vaclav

    Viktor Dvorak, Anna Geislerova Join Václav Havel Biopic

    Viktor Dvorak has been cast in “Havel,” a biopic of Václav Havel, as the Czech playwright, dissident and national leader. Anna Geislerova, who starred in Oscar nominated “Zelary,” plays his wife, Olga Havlova. Jiri Bartoska, the president of Karlovy Vary Film Festival, will appear in the film as “Professor,” inspired by Czech philosopher Jan Patocka. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content