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‘American Hustle’ director talks about bombings

Director David O. Russell was a fan of Massachusetts even before filming his most recent release here.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images/File

Director David O. Russell was a fan of Massachusetts even before filming his most recent release here.

Even before making “American Hustle,” his much-hyped new movie coming out next month, director
David O. Russell was a fan of Massachusetts. Indeed, one of the reasons he shot “American Hustle” here is because he’d had a good time filming “The Fighter” in Lowell. But the new movie, about the 1970s
Abscam sting operation and starring Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, and Jennifer Lawrence, posed some challenges. The biggest was the Boston Marathon bombings and the aftermath. “It was hanging over us the whole time,” Russell (inset) said in a recent interview. At one point, during the manhunt for suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev, filming was suspended. “You just end up feeling the emotion and the strength of the community around you,” the director said. “It just makes you more human, really, because you end up having a very human connection with, literally, everyone around you. I mean, everyone, strangers on the street. Everybody was moved and pulled together by that tragedy.” Cooper, among others from the movie, visited bombing victims in the hospital. “When you’re telling a story that’s full of intensity and emotion, you put it into the movie,” said Russell. “You put all that heart into it. There’s a lot of heart in Boston. I love having a lot of heart in my movies.”

Mark Shanahan can be reached at shanahan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarkAShanahan. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at mgoldstein@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MeredithGoldste.
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