Christian Bale confirms he defended Amy Adams from ‘American Hustle’ director

Christian Bale with long hair against a dark green backdrop
Christian Bale arrives at the London premiere of “Amsterdam” on Sept. 21.
(Vianney Le Caer / Invision / Associated Press)

Christian Bale shared his side of the “American Hustle” drama between Amy Adams and director David O. Russell, nine years after the Oscar-winning film premiered.

In GQ’s November cover story published Wednesday, the Oscar-winning actor recalled trying to keep the peace during his time on the set of “American Hustle,” where Adams said she butted heads with director Russell.

“If I can have some sense of understanding of where it’s coming from, then I do tend to attempt to be a mediator,” the Batman actor said. “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.’”

Six years ago, Adams told British GQ that the Oscar-nominated “Silver Linings Playbook” director made her cry during her time on “American Hustle.” In addition to her conflict with Russell, Adams said she learned through an email hack at Sony that she was being paid less than her male co-stars, including Bale.

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“I was really just devastated on set,” Adams said to British GQ.

Also revealed in the Sony hack was that Bale told the director to “stop acting like an a—” while filming “American Hustle.” On Wednesday, he not only confirmed that he stepped in on Adams’ behalf, but said that it was inevitable “there are gonna be upsets,” given the “crazy creative talent” of Adams and Russell.

Adams, however, wasn’t the only star who has spoken out against Russell and his toxic behavior on set. George Clooney alleged in 2000 that Russell screamed and humiliated some of the people on his “Three Kings” set, including a camera-car driver and script supervisor.


Then in 2004, a video from the set of “I Heart Huckabees” showed Russell arguing with star Lily Tomlin, who complained of a “barrage of changes,” and kicking props while yelling profanities at Tomlin. In 2015, TMZ reported that Russell and Jennifer Lawrence engaged in a heated conversation on the set of “Joy.”

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Bale told GQ that his time as a “mediator” on “American Hustle” won’t taint how he looks back on the film.

“They are f— phenomenal,” he said of the director and his former co-star. “Also, you got to remember, it was the nature of the character as well. Right? Those characters were not people who back down from anything, right?”

When asked how he felt about taking action on “American Hustle,” Bale said, “I did what I felt was appropriate, in very Irv style,” referring to his “American Hustle” character, Irving Rosenfeld, based on con artist Melvin Weinberg.

Attention around Russell’s behavior has resurfaced with the release of his latest film, “Amsterdam,” in which Bale stars. The cast also features Margot Robbie, John David Washington and Taylor Swift.