David O. Russell, director of such acclaimed films as Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and now American Hustle, was the guest of honor Friday, Nov. 9, for a special tribute celebrating his work at the AFI Fest.
Russell, whose American Hustle is set to hit theaters December 18, has been on fire recently, with his last two films, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, being nominated for a total of 15 Oscars and three wins. The director himself has been nominated for both efforts.
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The audience at the AFI tribute excitedly watched the first six minutes of his new film American Hustle. The film stars Christian Bale and Amy Adams, who worked with Russell on The Fighter, as well as Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, who starred in Silver Linings Playbook.
Before the tribute, Entertainment Tonight caught up with Russell and his leading lady Lawrence at the reception, and the playful duo shared some insights into the new film.
"I was very fortunate to get The Fighter," Russell, 55, said. "And that became the first chapter in all the work I'm doing right now… Silver Linings, to me, was another chapter of a similar world. Of people, and a family, and a community, and a home, who speak a certain way and who are very emotional and very intense, in ways that I find fascinating."
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"The new movie, American Hustle, is a third chapter of that, to me. It's the biggest world in a way."
Russell added. "It's an extension of these salt of the earth soulful people trying to survive. The people at the beginning of the movie are not in a good place, and they are trying to survive, and that's what all three movies are about."
Check out the video for more from Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, who owes her golden statue to Russell's film Silver Lining Playbook, including her thoughts on what makes Russell such an amazing director.