They always say that finding success in show business requires a thick skin. Some directors have developed reputations for babying their actors, while others push and provoke in order to achieve the best possible performance. As it turns out, David O. Russell has a tendency to be the latter. Actress Amy Adams recently opened up about her time on the set of the 2013 drama American Hustle, as well as Russell’s harsh treatment of her and the other actors during the film’s production. It was so harsh that she cried on set most days.
During a recent interview with GQ, Amy Adams admitted that American Hustle director David O. Russell actually made her cry during the production of the film. She said:
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.. 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.
Although she didn't go into specific details about the director’s actions on set, it’s abundantly clear that he was not the easiest guy to be around during the production of American Hustle. Based on this quote, it sounds like David O. Russell’s harsh treatment extended beyond just Amy Adams. A frequent collaborator with the popular director, Jennifer Lawrence apparently also fell victim to his ire, but was able to shrug it off better than Adams. It seems that the director takes filmmaking incredibly seriously, and she does not necessarily agree with that level of intensity on set.
Of course it probably didn’t help that Amy Adams knew she and her female costars earned less for the movie than the male actors on the film. Poor treatment is one thing, but earning a fraction of your coworkers definitely adds insult to injury.
All things considered, we’re not too sure Amy Adams regrets her decision to take part in the movie. Although David O. Russell might have been a hard director to work with at times, he got an impeccable performance out of her – as well as everyone else. Her performance in American Hustle proved so powerful that it garnered her a fifth Oscar nomination; not too shabby, Ms. Adams.
If nothing else, the experience helped Amy Adams develop a thicker skin that she has carried on to the other films she has worked on since American Hustle. Not that she needs it, she’s one of Hollywood’s most talented actresses working today. Be sure to catch her as Lois Lane in Zack Snyder’s upcoming blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which hits theaters later this month on March 25.