On American Hustle, Christian Bale acted as a “mediator” between Amy Adams and David O. Russell.

David O. Russell, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams
Photo: Craig Barritt (Getty Images)

On American Hustle, Christian Bale acted as a “mediator” between Amy Adams and David O. Russell.

David O. Russell is a divisive personality in Hollywood for his difficulties and professional actions. He’s a notoriously authoritarian director, and Amy Adams told British GQ in 2016 that she was “truly really distraught on the set” of American Hustle most days. Rumors have long circulated that her co-star Christian Bale had to step in to stop Russell from abusing her.

Bale, for one, has nothing but love for the director, despite his formidable reputation: “I enjoy the films David and I have created, you know what I mean?” Because I have no control over the rest, it’s the process of doing so. So that’s David’s process,” he adds in his own GQ piece. “Even if we don’t always have what people call a great day, we both know that we’re completely tuned into each other.” So we’re either rushing down the beach hugging or not talking for weeks on end.”

“If I can get a sense of where it’s coming from, then I do try to be a mediator,” he says of the sometimes-charged environment on a Russell set. “It’s just in my nature to say, ‘Hey, come on, let’s go sit down and figure this out.'” There has to be a way to make this all work.”


Bale admits to acting as a “mediator” between Adams and Russell, but it didn’t ruin his American Hustle experience. “You’re dealing with two amazing abilities.” No, I won’t let that bother me in the least. “Look, if I feel like we got anywhere close to achieving—and you only ever get somewhere close to achieving; our imagination is too incredible ever entirely to achieve it—but if you get anywhere close to it, and when you’re working with people of Amy’s or David’s crazy creative talent, there are going to be upset,” he claims. “But they’re fucking incredible.” Also, keep in mind that it was the nature of the characters. Right? Those characters were not the type to back down from a challenge.

While Adams claims that American Hustle “truly taught me how to separate work and home,” Bale incorporates work into his interpersonal mediation: “I did what I believed was right, in a very Irv way,” he says of his character. Bale also alleges that Adams advised him that the on-set drama shouldn’t hinder the audience’s pleasure of the work, so American Hustle fans, go ahead with a clear conscience. Unless your enjoyment is hampered by Russell’s other controversy, which Bale did not address, in that case, you’re on your own.

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