Related: SAG Awards Winners (Full List)
UPDATED WITH WINNERS AND BACKSTAGE REACTIONS: American Hustle cemented its status as on Oscar Best Picture frontrunner tonight, taking the top ensemble award at the 20th Annual SAG Awards, which were handed at LA’s Shrine Auditorium. The actor races also gained further clarity with more wins for Matthew McConaughey and his Dallas Buyers Club co-star Jared Leto, and Blue Jasmine‘s Cate Blanchett. (A mild upset came in Supporting Actress, when 12 Years A Slave‘s Lupita Nyong’o won over a field that included Golden Globes winner Jennifer Lawrence.) On the TV side, Breaking Bad ended its final season on the air by taking the Best Ensemble Drama Series crown for the first time, with Bryan Cranston winning Best Drama Actor for a second consecutive year. In comedy, Modern Family won its fourth consecutive ensemble award, and Ty Burrell became the first individual winner from the series. There were a few good one liners over the two-hour-plus ceremony (organizers eventually asked winners to pare their speeches to 45 seconds — some did, some didn’t). Among the cracks were Burrell’s 5 Simple Steps to Success in Acting; Rita Moreno’s F-bomb (caught by the censors) at the beginning of her Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech; and Blanchett brushing off an off-camera clock during her time onstage, saying of McConaughey’s, er, wide-ranging speech just before hers: “Matthew McConaughey just spoke about Neptune, so I think I can have an extra 5 seconds.”
SAG Awards Film: ‘American Hustle’ Gets Big Boost, But Will First Guild Results Impress Oscar?
SAG Awards TV: ‘Breaking Bad’ Has Great Last Hurrah, ‘Modern Family’ Extends Streak
Actor statuettes up for grabs in 13 categories — five for film and eight for TV. There also are TV and film stunt ensemble categories, with those winners unveiled ahead of the main ceremony simulcast live on TNT and TBS. Final voting by the Screen Actors Guild’s eligible membership — that’s about 100,000 actors — was due yesterday, which gave ballot-casters a chance to soak in the Golden Globe winners last weekend.
Deadline had all the SAG scoops in our live-blog of the ceremony. Jen Yamato and Ross Lincoln were on the ground at the Shrine, and Film Editor Anita Busch, TV Editor Nellie Andreeva and Awards Columnist Pete Hammond provided analysis. Here’s how it went down:
The SAG Awards are a good precursor for who will win the acting categories at the Academy Awards. The reason is the actors and actresses make up a big portion of Oscar voters: The Actors Branch is roughly 20% of the voting membership of AMPAS. That makes it a better indicator than the Globes; also, SAG doesn’t have as many categories as the Globes for acting.
The show opens with the customary first-person testimonials. Somehow they don’t come off as cheezy… This is a two-hour show and it’s nice it cuts to the chase. Matt Damon kicks us off…
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
LUPITA NYONG’O / Patsey – “12 YEARS A SLAVE” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Great line from Nyong’o, the heart and soul of the movie, who is now the Oscar frontrunner in this category after besting Jennifer Lawrence from American Hustle, Julia Roberts from August: Osage County, Oprah Winfrey for The Butler, and Jane Squibb for Nebraska. She thanked the film’s real-life subject Solomon Northrup and director Steve McQueen then became an early candidate for quote of the night: S he said she was so excited when she was cast that she called her father and said, “Do you know Brad Pitt … I’m in a movie with him. He said, I don’t know him personally, but I’m glad you got a job.”
This is a perfect example of how the Golden Globes differ from SAG: Jennifer Lawrence won last weekend in the same category.
Backstage, Nyong’o said that for her it was more important to portray her character faithfully, rather than solve any lingering historical mysteries. “When I was doing the research I wasn’t interested in getting information the same way a historian would,” she said. “I was interested in trying to get into the period of time in any way that would enlightening Patsey to me.” A visibly humbled Nyong’o was quick to make a distinction between her experience as an actress and that of the real like person she portrayed. “I couldn’t sentimentalize the pain I would have to go through, because I was basically doing it in an imaginary world, unlike someone who went through those atrocities… Not to say that it was easy, but I was privileged to do so.”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
JARED LETO / Rayon – “DALLAS BUYERS CLUB” (Focus Features)
“Alright, Alright, Alright, baby,” he said, channeling Dallas Buyers Club co-star Matthew McConaughey, the favorite in the Best Actor category tonight and pretty much for the entire season — this is not a surprise. He dedicated what he called “a special honor” to those who lost their lives with HIV/AIDS.”I’m so proud that I’ve been able to glimpse the world through your eyes. I’m so honored to share this honor with you.” He also gave a shout-out to James Gandolfini, nominated for one of his last acting roles Enough Said.
Backstage, Leto, who thanked his mother onstage in his acceptance speech, explained that “she always encouraged me to pursue creative dreams, and that’s pretty brave, for a mom to do that. It certainly isn’t the most fortuitous or stable ground to be on.” SAG Award in hand, Leto credited his work with the transgender community with the career-highlighting performance he gave in the film. “They really showed me the way,” he said, calling it “the role of a lifetime.” “It was through experimentation trial and error and a lot of education.” As for noting Gandolfini while accepting the award? “I wanted to say something about James Gandolfini because I knew him personally.” He added: “The greatest thing about getting these awards is I’m able to say thank you to everyone who helped shine a light on this story in a public way. I’m also able to acknowledge and pay tribute to people who’ve had this terrible disease. The epidemic isn’t over, there isn’t a cure, and it’s still affecting millions of people all over the world. 36 million people have died as a result of this disease and another 35 million people around the world are living with HIV/AIDS.”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS / Vice President Selina Meyer – “VEEP” (HBO)
After two Emmy wins for Veep, Dreyfus lands her first SAG Award for the HBO comedy. Like she did at the Globes where she had a recurring gag with hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Dreyfus did some acting when accepting her Actor with the help of her Veep co-star Matt Walsh. “Ids like to begin by thanking the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press for this glorious Golden Globe,” she said before correcting herself. “It is important to understand that it is truly an honor just to be nominated for an Academy Awards.” She turned to Walsh for help and apologized while he was fumbling through his pockets for SAG speech. “It is hard, you know, because it’s awards season, and things get confusing.” Walsh didn’t deliver a SAG speech (“I didn’t think you’d win”), so Dreyfus ended up “winging it”.
Backstage, she said the biggest takeaway from Veep is her collaborative experiences with the writers and actors. And that goes for on set and off. Team Veep also has a lot of fun playing out their TV shenanigans off-camera, i.e., Walsh onstage acting as Dreyfus’ press agent. The bit where he hands her the sandwiches was secretly planned last minute. But winging it, is just part of Dreyfus’ style. One reporter complimented Dreyfus on her beautiful maneuvering of the red carpet and asked if she has mastered it. Said the actress humbly, “Thanks for saying that, but I don’t have it down. I don’t know what the deal is — do you suck [your stomach] in or stick it out? I just pray to the Lord it’s working.”
That’s the first individual SAG win for a Modern Family player. Like Dreyfus, he came prepared, likely with the help of the Modern Family writers. He lsted his 5 Simple Steps to Success in Acting. Here are some of them:
1. Be born into a family that’s never had an actor in it. That way they think anything you do is cooler than it really is, thus giving you a false sense of confidence.
2. Use that false sense of security to woo and trap a spouse who was better than you, and is willing to overlook the fact that you have no apparent skill set other than being a needy extrovert.
3. Have no skill set other than being a needy extrovert.
4 Use that lack of skill to fail over, and over, and over again, until you stumble onto a job written by (Modern Family creators) Chris Lloyd, Steve Levitan and our entire writing staff.”
5. Have .. a … a knack for memorizing.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
MODERN FAMILY (ABC)
“We’re gonna make Sofia talk because America loves her — and loves her boobs,” Julie Bowen said when the cast reached the stage for their fourth consecutive win in the category.
Backstage, the cast was asked what they knew of their characters’ upcoming trip Down Under. “I thought we were going to Austria?” quipped Burrell. “We’re going to Las Vegas before we go to Australia and that’s the last script that we’ve seen,” said Bowen. “We’re going to Las Vegas tomorrow – we know nothing of Australia but have been asked, ‘Are you afraid of heights?’ Are you afraid of fanged animals?’ ” Bowen, incidentally, says she did not learn all her beauty secrets from her sunbathing mother, “but she is lovely and she did tell me not to dress like a whore.” As one journalist began posing a question to openly gay cast member Jesse Tyler Ferguson, he beat her to the punch: “Is it about The Bachelor?” Actually, it wasn’t, although today’s anti-gay comments from Bachelor star Juan Pablo Galavis were a hot topic around the Shrine. Should Hollywood take a more active role in the conversation around Russia’s controversial homophobic policies? “Obviously I’m very supportive of all gay rights all around the world,” said Ferguson. “I think when you have a platform, you do what you’re passionate about, I’m passionate about gay rights and I do as much as I can. One of great things about show like this allows our voices to be heard about things we’re passionate about. It’s also really difficult when it’s not your politics, to pipe in. It’s tricky. But yes, it’s a bad situation out there and I’m voicing my support, officially.”
Here comes Ken Howard, president of SAG-AFTRA in the first year of the awards show under the combined unions. Good he got the “military canines” shout-out in there.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
HELEN MIRREN / Linda Kenney Baden – “PHIL SPECTOR” (HBO)
Remember she replaced Bette Midler in this role very close to production, so nice pickup for her. She looked surprised as she won her first major award for HBO’s Phil Spector. “I don’t feel at all SAGgy, I feel quite perky actually winning this AFTRA all,” she quipped, weaving both merged acting unions into her speech. She acknowledged her co-star Al Pacino: “To work with Al and watch him close hand was an incredible lesson for me.”
Backstage, Mirren insisted her win was a surprise. “I did not expect to win,” she said. “I was sure Elizabeth (Moss) was going to win. Elizabeth obviously won the Golden Globe and fully deserved to, and I was sure that she was going to win again.” She also expressed high hopes for the current state of television. “Oh, all of us actors want to work with Showtime and HBO, the two great cable channels,” she said. “Of course FX as well, (and) Netflix. The landscape of drama on film is changing so radically, I’m very happy to be – I’m much older now, but at least I’m still working at the time when things are changing. I think it’s very exciting.
Meanwhile, THANK YOU Emma Thompson for wondering openly about the weird music choices tonight. “Is this music available on CD?” Gotta say something ahead of one of the most predictable categories of the night: Michael Douglas for Behind The Candelabra. Right?
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
MICHAEL DOUGLAS / Liberace – “BEHIND THE CANDELABRA” (HBO)
SAG follows suit with the Globes and Emmys. He completed his sweep by acknowledging his dad, acting great Kirk Douglas. “Ive got a 97-year-old member of SAG back at home who I know is particularly pround of me winning this award, but I would like to thank you for helping me get out of his shadow.” He referenced the memorable double entendres addressed at his co-star Matt Damon in his Emmy acceptance speech. “At previous awards show I’ve spoken of who’s on top and who’s on bottom, two-handers. Matt Damon, I wanna be serious right now. I know we’ve gone head to head,” he said to a big laughter. “The truth is, and you know it, I wouldn’t be here without Matt Damon. Matt had to courage to stand by this part when I was sick, and he had to wait another year… This is you too.”
Backstage, Douglas mused: “Aside from a lot of hot tub scenes, there was a particular sexual act that we only did one take of,” he said referring to a tossing-the-sheets scene with Damon. (Director) Steven Soderbergh put down the camera and exclaimed, ‘I have no notes!'” After working with HBO, the Oscar-winning actor says he’s open to working with the pay cabler again, but for the time being, he’s set his sights on Marvel’s Ant-Man in which he’ll play Henry Pym, the first Ant-Man. “I can’t say a word! They’ve got me contractually!” Douglas said despite multiple proddings by reporters in the media room.
Life Achievement Award – Rita Moreno
From our Anita Busch:
Rita Moreno’s real name is Rosa Dolores Alverio. She was born in Puerto Rico and has had a career spanning 69 years when she first appeared on Broadway at age 13. She paved the way for Hispanic actresses in the entertainment industry early on and became an important role model in the lives of so many up and coming Hispanic performers. She is known as the only Hispanic and one of just 11 actors to win all four of the entertainment industry’s biggest awards (the EGOT): A Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Anita in Stanley Donen’s West Side Story in 1962. (She also won the Golden Globe that year). She was the first Hispanic to win in that category. She was she won a Tony Award in 1975 for The Ritz, she also won two Emmys (Rockford Files and The Muppet Show). She also won a Grammy in 1972 for the Electric Company album (she was on that children’s show with tonight’s presenter, Morgan Freeman). She also has won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 from President George W. Bush and in 2009 she won the National Medal of Arts from President Obama.
Wow, she doesn’t move around like she’s 82. She also doesn’t mince words — she had to be bleeped in the first 10 seconds. “I hope the man with the button is there”, she says. Bet it’s not the same man that missed the salty Golden Globes language from Jacqueline Bisset…
From her speech: “Late in the first act of my career, I was recognzied with an Oscar at the age of 31 and I was so surprised. And now this … hopefully, it’s early in the third act of my life. So let me say this: Marry me Jeremy Renner. No, that’s not what I meant to say.” Then she broke out into song twice. First with: “As I approach the prime of my life/I find that I have the time of my life/Learning to enjoy at my leisure/ all the simple pleasures/ and so I happily concede/This is all I have/This is all I need.” “To quote my younger self, I leave you with this … and she broke out into song again: “So let the music play/as long as there’s a song to sing/and I will be/I will be younger than spring.”
Backstage, Moreno got even more applause — from the press corps (come on, guys). “The difference between getting an Oscar and having an honor like this tonight is that an Oscar is for a specific performance in a specific film, and this I call an honor because it’s about a lifetime. I was told I had one minute but I’m Puerto Rican, I can’t even say hello in one minute!” Onstage, the EGOT-winning stage and screen star took some extra time in a show threatening to run long as she accepted her lifetime achievement honor, singing part of the old Sinatra tune “This Is All I Ask.” “In a way it limited me because it made me search for the essence of what I feel and what I sung said it all,” she explained.
Moreno also opined on the challenges facing Hispanic performances in 21st century Hollywood. “As long as you have problems with immigration and reform of immigration, in my lifetime it’s always going to be difficult. It’s about persevering. We’ll get there. The door is ajar – Ricardo Montalban said that. We have to open it some more, and it’ll happen – [but] not in my lifetime. I’m 82. I’m lucky if I live another 10 years.”
The spry Moreno spoke of her longtime friend Freeman and their 46-year friendship forged on the set of The Electric Company. Hearing of Moreno’s lifetime achievement honor, Freeman personally requested to sit at her table and volunteered to walk the red carpet in support. “We have a deep respect for one another,” Moreno said.”We do make each other laugh… and we DO get raunchy.”
Other backstage gems from Moreno: “Have I had any work done? If I had, I wouldn’t tell ya!” And her secret to a life well-lived? “Living in the moment! Smelling the roses, smelling the coffee, whatever it is that makes you happy. You have to say look… look at the light. I didn’t expect people to cheer and carry on [tonight],” she said. “I feel pretty,” she sang, channeling Maria in West Side Story. Stunning in a sparkly gold “biker chick” ensemble from Herve Leger – “It’s not Her-vay, get that right” – she beamed. “I feel I look swell.”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
MAGGIE SMITH / Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham – “DOWNTON ABBEY” (PBS)
This is her first individual SAG Award. She did not attend.
Off-air announcement to everyone at the Shrine just now: The show’s running long so producers are asking winners to keep their acceptance speeches to 45 seconds. “If you are honored with an award tonight please help us get off the air tonight… it would really be a shame if our last award does not get on the air.” Now that would be a story…
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
BRYAN CRANSTON / Walter White – “BREAKING BAD” (AMC)
Cranston ended his acclaimed turn as Walter White with back-to-back SAG Awards. Following Moreno, Cranston too started by crooning, “I won a SAG Award!” It was a heartfelt speech, in which the veteran actor reflected on his humble beginnings. “I’ve had so many crappy jobs in my life; I loaded trucks downtown — cold, dust dirt everywhere, people yelling at you, “Cranston move faster, work harder.” The only thing got me through was imagining, dreaming that one day I could actually make a livng as an actor. “We are the luckiest people in the world who can say “I am an actor”.’
Here comes the In Memorium segment — which can get organizers in trouble with snubs. Introduced by Tom Hanks here’s the list: Peter O’Toole, Karen Black, Paul Walker, Dennis Farina, Julie Harris, Ed Lauter, Ken Norton, Tom Laughlin, Tony Musante, Deanna Durbin, Annette Funicello, Carmen Zapata, Milo O’Shea, Allan Arbus, Eydie Gorme, Bonnie Franklin, Steve Forrest, John Kerr, Juanita Moore, Joan Fontaine, Jeanne Cooper, Hal Needham, Michael Ansara, Ridchard Griffiths, Al Ruscio, Esther Williams, Joseph Ruskin, Marcia Wallace, Ned Wertimer, Jean Kean, James Avery, Dale Robertson, August Schellenberg, Eleanor Parker, Lee Thompson Young, Jean Stapleton, Jonathan Winters, Malachi Throne, Eileen Brennan, Cory Monteith, and James Gandolfini.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
BREAKING BAD (AMC)
The cast of Breaking Bad is as huge as the number of producers on Lone Survivor. This is its first SAG ensemble award in its final season. Cranston took to the mike a second time to accept the series’ first drama ensemble SAG Award for its final season. “What a way to go out in style,” he said. Cranston probably raised a few eyebrows with his exuberant comment pointing to his castmates, “Look at this we — got the nicest group of white supremist Nazis I’ve ever worked with — I swear to you I would kill you all over again.” (It all makes sense for those who have watched Breaking Bad, where Cranston’s Walter White did wipe out Jack’s White Supremacist Gang.) Cranston also payed homage to Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan: “He is not the God, but he is a god in our minds.”
Backstage, the cast revealed that like many TV viewers in the U.S., they’re still rewatching old episodes of their show. “I started re-watching the pilot and I’m on Season 2 now,” admitted Aaron Paul (aka junior meth lord Jesse Pinkman). “I look like such a baby back then,” said the actor, prompting Dean Norris (Hank Schrader) to chime in, “I have photos of him on my phone, he looked like such a sweet boy.” Still on the subject of their mugs, Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut) gave his 2 cents blunty, “Dean was ugly as sin two years ago and still is ugly as sin.”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY / Ron Woodroof – “DALLAS BUYERS CLUB” (Focus Features)
McConaughey doubled his win from last weekend, having won a Golden Globe and now best Actor from SAG now (he was a first-timer both times). This sets him up well for Oscar. “To the nominees, there were so many fierce performances this year … it really shines a great light on this, this bull ride called acting”, he said. “I’ve been able to recently find some characters that I can humble to myself to their humanity and then get feverishly drunk on their obsessions. And that’s really been fun for me.”
Now it gets interesting: “There’s a magic place that we as actors can get to and we try and we always don’t get there, but when we touch it, it’s magic. When you’re seeing the character from the inside out. When you’re walking out and everything you see, smell and touch and observe is coming through that character and into you. And it’s making sense and you’re the subject, you’re the eye. You’re first person who seen it through that character’s eyes. And that doesn’t always, but boy, when it does, it feels like they put a blindfold on you and put you in a spaceship and take you to Neptune and you can hop off on the planet and they better have the sprockets rolling when you get off that spaceship because you are going to behave as your man. That is a glorious feeling.”
McConaughey rolled on backstage: “I’ve been having a lot of fun with the work, more fun than I have ever had,” he said. His star turn as AIDS activist Ron Woodruff has garnered attention all awards season its no surprise he won tonight given the physical sacrifice he made for the role — losing extreme weight to depict Woodruff’s deterioration as he suffered through symptoms of HIV/AIDS. “We don’t do it for the results, we do it for the process and enjoyment,” McConaughey said. “I’m sure going to keep my head and heart high and say thank you, because it’s a great moment for my career. I’ll have great stories and experiences especially with Dallas Buyers Club.” He success comes during a renaissance of dramatic work for McConaughey, whose recent acclaimed projects include Jeff Nichols’ Mud and continue with HBO’s new series True Detective directed by Cary Fukunaga. “I’ve been going for identity of character and quality of script,” he said. How did the Dallas Buyers Club role affect McConaughey? “In a very literal sense, I was hungry. For knowledge, for research, for information, trying to get hold of my man. There’s a benefit to being hungry, interested, and curious, having an insatiable appetite not just in the literal sense…I noticed that was a real asset of the idea of actually losing physical pounds.” During filming he slept little and ate even less, treating himself to tapioca pudding nibbled out of an antique sugar spoon to keep his weight down. “When I got done I made the ultimate cheeseburger,” he said. “It took 45 minutes to finish it.”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
CATE BLANCHETT / Jasmine – “BLUE JASMINE” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Another best-line nominee: “29 seconds [left]?” she said at the start of her acceptance speech. “Matthew McConaughey just spoke about Neptune, so I think I can have an extra 5 seconds.” Blanchett was the critical favorite for Blue Jasmine, winning tonight over fellow nominees Meryl Streep (August: Osage County), Judi Dench (Philomena), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), and Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks). This is her first SAG Award.
After saying she had been away from films for a long while doing theatre, she said: “Thank you SAG/AFTRA for welcoming me back. For those of you who voted me, thank you, and for those of you who didn’t, better luck next year.” Then, “‘Yes, please wrap up, I’m on Mars for the moment,” she said, thanking her director Woody Allen “for writing role after role after role for women and then giving us the space the space to create them.” She spoke to her co-star Sally Hawkins, who played her sister in Blue Jasmine, saying, “Sally, I’m very lonely up here without you. This [statue] is half yours — the penis part,” she said. She said she’s been with her husband, Andrew, for 17 years, her agent Hylda Queally at CAA, and her publicist Lisa Kasteler for 17 years. “Perhaps, in a way, those relationships are my biggest achievements.”
Her post-award press conference was punctuated by humility and hilarity: “This has been an extraordinary extraordinary unexpected week,” she said. Echoing her acceptance speech, she gushed “I met Rita Moreno and now this (award). And Robert De Niro gave it to me.” Alas, the Q&A ended abruptly as time was called, prompting a bemused “So that’s it?” from Blanchett. “Obviously extremely interesting, so thank you very much.”
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
AMERICAN HUSTLE (Columbia Pictures)
Having won the ensemble cast from SAG as well as the Golden Globe last week for best comedy/musical, American Hustle goes into tomorrow’s night Producers Guild of America dinner already a winner — banything could happen at the PGA. Other pictures that could win tomorrow night are nominees 12 Years A Slave, Blue Jasmine, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Wolf Of Wall Street.
Bradley Cooper accepted and gave kudos to Sony studio execs Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal and all the producers — Megan Ellison, Matthew Budman, Jonathan Gordon, Richard Suckle and Chuck Roven — before lauding praise on director David O’Russell. “Even if you get a chance to audition for him, and everybody who has knows it, he’ll spend 45 minutes on a Skype session with you. He makes you feel like you are part of the family whether you are Robert De Niro or Patty Mack — you are a part of the family. He is an actor’s director,” Cooper said. “He’s the embodiment of it. He’s the reason why all of us wanted to become actors when we were children becausehe loves us. It’s not out of any sort of charity, it’s because he demands. Much is asked of us, and if we deliver, much is returned.”
The cast has developed a rep of being a loose-lipped, jovial and candid as their onscreen personalities in their winners-room crawls this awards season. Amy Adams, who loves to talk about her daughter in every interview, exclaimed, “She’s going to love this trophy for one particular aspect,” referring to the SAG trophy’s naked physique. Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence blurted out to one foreign-accented reporter who had a question about the characters’ complex personalities in the film: “Who are you talking to? What?” While the question, addressed to the cast, was quite clear to those in the room, actor Michael Pena backed Lawrence up. “Sir, we don’t know what the hell you just said!” This was later followed up by Lawrence, addressing a noisy passerby outside the media room with an F-bomb. Seriousness finally caught up with everyone as they expounded on Russell’s process. “David writes characters who have a real moral conflict, and he creates a human dramedy which you see in his previous films, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook,” said Adams. “It was seamless,” said Lawrence, going from Silver Linings to American Hustle, “Once you understand David, he doesn’t change.”
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