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Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams once teamed up on the David O. Russell film American Hustle. But the film was occasionally a difficult shoot for Adams, who found herself crying after hitting her co-star too hard.

David O. Russell made Amy Adams cry every day in ‘American Hustle’

Amy Adams at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
Amy Adams | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Filmmaker David O. Russell has a reputation for being somewhat abrasive and temperamental on set. Cooper once even had reservations about working with the filmmaker due to his reputation. Cooper first worked with Russell on Silver Linings Playbook, but before collaborating with the filmmaker he needed a second opinion.

“The reputation that preceded him for me was stellar. I spoke to Jessica Biel, who I’d been on The A Team with, and I said, ‘You know, I think I might do this David Russell movie,’ and she said, ‘Run. Don’t walk to that.’ She did a movie that never even came out with him, actually, and she loved him,” Cooper once said in an interview with Deadline.

Cooper would enjoy his time with Russell enough to develop a bond with the filmmaker. But when Adams worked with him on American Hustle, Russell lived up to his reputation.

“I was really just devastated on set,” Adams once told GQ, admitting that Russell’s treatment made her cry. “He was hard on me, that’s for sure. It was a lot.”

Whereas her other co-star, Jennifer Lawrence, was able to endure Russell’s behavior, Adams didn’t have Lawrence’s level of tolerance.

“Jennifer [Lawrence] doesn’t take any of it on. She’s Teflon,” Adams continued. “And I am not Teflon. But I also don’t like to see other people treated badly, you know what I mean?”

Amy Adams cried after she hit Bradley Cooper a little too hard for David O. Russell

One of the instances where Adams ended up feeling the emotional weight of Russell’s tactics was during a pivotal scene with Cooper. Adams confided that Russell pushed her to strike Cooper as hard as she could.

“There’s a scene where I was supposed to hit Bradley. I wasn’t hitting him hard enough and David kept yelling, ‘Hit him. Hit him,'” Adams once told Look (via Contact Music).

Cooper would also further encourage Adams to put more strength behind her attack. The actor ended up putting in too much strength than she meant to. After the scene, Adams noticed how Cooper’s face reacted to her strike, and feared that her co-star sustained deep injuries.

“So I finally hit him, but I whacked him so hard that his face began to swell and I was crying because I thought I’d given him a black eye,” she said.

It was a moment that the movie star wished she didn’t give into in the first place.

“David pushes his actors into a space where you don’t really know what’s going to happen,” she said.

Christian Bale was a mediator between Amy Adams and David O Russell in ‘American Hustle’


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Bale, who also worked with Adams in American Hustle, confirmed that he acted as a mediator on set between Russell and Adams. But Bale felt the tempers that flared between Adams and Russell were products of the creativity between two talents. So in the end, no true hard feelings were had.

“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,” he said in a recent interview with GQ. “But they are f***ing phenomenal. 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?”