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"American Hustle" is one of those star-studded films that had us intrigued from the get-go. From the Oscar winners and nominees in the cast, to Oscar-winning writer/director David O. Russell, to the "inspired by real events" tag, to each actor's uniquely-styled hair, the more we hear about the movie -- about an FBI agent who enlisted con artists to catch crooked politicians -- the more interested we become.
Adding to the intrigue are the colorful comments about the film from the stars themselves, like those from unfiltered quote machine Jennifer Lawrence, who plays the long-suffering wife of chief con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and becomes an unexpected complication in his high-stakes con game. At the film's NYC press conference this weekend, for example, Lawrence was asked to describe how working with Russell allows an actor more freedom than most, and in the middle of complimenting her director she tripped herself up on finishing her own answer.
"I think there are a couple ways to look at it because real life can be so dramatic and so awful that it is kinda funny, but David, his characters are just incredible," Lawrence said. "You have so much emotional freedom that sometimes what's on the page turns into something completely different when David starts yelling these ideas when you're on your toes and midway while I'm talking I'm forgetting the question again … somebody else answer!"
"We'll circle back to you," Russell said.
"Please don't!" Lawrence shot back, smiling.
[Related: Back-to-Back Oscars for Jennifer Lawrence?]
Russell later made good on his promise when he asked Lawrence to share her thoughts on her character's memorable head-banging performance of "Live and Let Die" toward the end of the film.
"[David] said he had a vision of Rosalyn wearing yellow cleaning gloves and running through the entire house singing, 'Live and Let Die,'" she said. "I thought that sounded incredible, but [thought] 'How’s it going to make sense?' ... But she’s so angry and she’s at this point where she’s been lied to for so long and she's been left out of everything, and she’s getting to this point in this marriage that she’s been fighting for so long, that she’s been imprisoning this man for so many years in this marriage and she’s finally ready to let it die. So, I think that was this really great, crazy moment. I threw my neck out, actually."
Lawrence also explained that acting for her is a chance to lose herself completely in a character, something she's done since childhood.
"[Acting for me], it’s a study of people and all of these things I’ve been doing since I was little that were always useless in Kentucky," said Lawrence. "Just watching people, studying them, and being able to mimic their body language and figure out a person, what kind of person you’re playing, how they move, and how they walk. But, between action and cut, it’s almost like meditating in a weird way because anything that you’re feeling, like if I’m cold between action and cut, I’m not; or if I’m in physical pain between action and cut, I’m not. I’m in a completely different frame of mind and it’s a high."
- Arts & Entertainment