OSCARS: David O. Russell On Nomination Hot Streak: “I Don't Know If You Could Force It To Ever Happen Again”

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s Oscar coverage

russellhustleWith 10 nominations for American Hustle (including all the biggies — Picture, Director, all four acting categories and screenplay) David O. Russell described himself this morning as “exhilarated — sort of a little busy, and exhilarated.” Last year his Silver Linings Playbook received eight nominations, including all of these major categories with one exception: Adapted Screenplay rather than Original Screenplay. Russell, tired and recovering from a cough, called the back-to-back recognition “extraordinary. It’s just kind of a momentum that built from from Silver Linings to American Hustle. I don’t know if you could force it to ever happen again.”

Related: OSCARS: 86th Academy Award Nominations (Full List)

russellAnd not to forget 2010’s multiple nominee The Fighter, which Russell includes in the trajectory. “I wrote Silver Linings before The Fighter but didn’t make it until after The Fighter. About American Hustle he said: “This story has been circling [for a long time]. This was a very special moment, you could feel it. This was going faster than we realized, but there was an excitement. It was something that took many years to take shape.”

Russell also hinted today about his next project: “I am writing an opus for a community that may involve many of these actors.”

Related: OSCARS: Reactions To Academy’s Nominations

Even with so many previous noms and awards, Russsell said he respects these nominations “enormously.” But in case they don’t come, he said he makes a habit of calling everyone involved the night before the announcements. “I say thank you — no matter what, we made this film and I’m so happy and grateful,” Russell said. “That’s the way I can go to sleep. That’s what we stand on when we wake up.”

In part, Russell credits the success of Hustle to actors “taking chances they never took before. You are saying: ‘I don’t know Amy this way, I don’t know Jennifer this way. ‘To me they were the most beautiful they have ever been, and the most ugly.” He added: “I think it’s a world of real East Coast, New York and New Jersey characters, their romance and their survival, from their desperation to their romantic lives. Their passoin their emotions, dreams and disasters. I have to give a range to my actors. That means I have to have a huge life and death predicament, a Picasso of a predicament, that has to keep moving and exploding sideways.”

Given the entertainment landscape, was it difficult not to veer into Jersey Shore-style stereotypes with the film’s characters? The pressure to remain authentic is “true of any motion picture,” Russell said. “Any motion picture is a great risk that can go terribly wrong. You have to keep that in mind every step of the way. You can never let your guard down. That’s the job. And if you don’t like it, get another job.”

    1. The movie was fine until the lame Scooby Doo ending. I can’t believe how many awards this is getting given the awful ending.

    2. Hey haters! Get a grip – this movie was fantastic and David O Russell kicked ass. You must have been exhausted calling it a snoozefest because you were busy getting your boss coffee all day.

      1. anonymous , I’m a hater because I don’t like the film ? That doesn’t make sense to me . Are you working for David O. Russell ?

  1. Enough Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Cooper is very unlikable and Lawrences schtick is wearing thin. Make it STOP! There are other actors we’d like to see

  2. I think David is on a real roll… He is the top American Filmmaker out there. American Hustle is the best movie of the year… Maybe not the most important but the BEST.

  3. You people are insane. This was the best executed film of the year (with the obvious exception of the FX juggernaut GRAVITY). Every acting part was casted and performed to an absolute T.
    Stick to your superhero pics and leave masterful films like this one to the adults.

  4. Wrong to all three comments above. This is an intricately woven storyline with complex characters that are not black and white. And DOR manipulates all masterfully. Maybe you didn’t get it.

    1. No, we got it. It’s a 2 1/4 hour feature version of “Whose Line Is It, Anyway” starring the cast of “Jersey Shore.” Script? What script? Except for DeNiro, everyone seemed to be improvving, and I haven’t heard that much screaming since the Beatles at Shea Stadium.

  5. You couldn’t “force” it to happen again?! That’s PRECISELY what happened! B.S. campaigning got you in all 4 acting categories, even though Bradley Cooper is a CO-LEAD, not a supporting actor (just like Christoph Waltz was last year), and Amy Adams got in over at least 3 better options. If I were him, I’d feel guilty with some of these, not proud. The politicizing of the nominating process has got to end. Vote on merit, Academy a-holes!

  6. very good performances from cooper and bale but overall a very overated movie, a lot like argo last year.

  7. The beginning of the film with the elaborate hairdo and then potbelly literally was hilarious, and the screen lit up whenever Jennifer was on it, but Bradley was his usual screaming self, Bale was ok, and Adams very good, but better than Emma Thompson…

  8. This movie was already done twice by Scorcese — Casino and/or Goodfellas.

    Jennifer Lawrence’s amateur high school play attempt to reinterpret Sharon Stone’s Casino role yanked me out of the movie each time.

    Christian Bale and Jeremy Renner delivered, but several times, I wondered, “What is the real point of this movie? Is there a point? Will one of these characters get disappeared and will I be sad to see them go because I have no sympathy for any of them.”

    Oscars for everybody!

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