Christian Bale confirmed in a recent GQ interview that he “mediated” a tense situation between David O. Russell and Amy Adams on the set of their 2013 crime movie “American Hustle.” Russell is known for his aggressive directing style, and Adams revealed in 2016 that Russell made her cry on set.
“I was really just devastated on set,” Adams said about working with Russell on “American Hustle.” “I mean, not every day, but most.”
Reports have long stated that Bale got in the middle of whatever was going on between Adams and Russell and told his frequent director to “back off.” Speaking to GQ, Bale confirmed he was a “mediator” on set and said that whatever tension existed did not taint his experience.
“No. No, no, no. No. You’re dealing with two such incredible talents there,” Bale said when asked if having to mediate made him feel differently about the movie. “No, I don’t let that get in the way whatsoever. Look, if I feel like we got anywhere close—and you only ever get somewhere close to achieving; our imagination is too incredible to ever entirely achieve it—but if you get anywhere close to it, and when you’re working with people of the crazy creative talent of Amy or of David, there are gonna be upsets. But they are fucking phenomenal.”
Bale added, “Also, you got to remember, it was the nature of the characters as well. Right? Those characters were not people who back down from anything, right?”
Russell has had a long history of battling actors on his sets, most infamously Lily Tomlin during the making of “I Heart Huckabees.” Neither Adams nor Bale have revealed the specifics of what happened on the “American Hustle” set, but Adams confirmed it left her “devastated.”
“Jennifer [Lawrence] doesn’t take any of it on,” Adams told GQ in 2016. “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.”
When asked how he deals with intense situations on set, Bale said, “If I can have some sense of understanding of where it’s coming from, then I do tend to attempt to be a mediator. That’s just in my nature, to try to say, ‘Hey, come on, let’s go and sit down and figure that out. There’s gotta be a way of making this all work.’
Bale added of mediating the “American Hustle” set tension, “I did what I felt was appropriate, in very Irv style.”
The actor also stressed that knowing Adams had a tough time with Russell on set should not make viewers enjoy the movie any less. “And, by the way, that’s not me deciding for her, she’s told me that,” he said.
Bale is currently back with Russell for the star-studded black comedy “Amsterdam,” in theaters Oct. 7.