"American Hustle," the new Abscam-inspired con movie by David O. Russell, finds the director of "The Fighter" and "Silver Linings Playbook" getting the old gang back together, including actors Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
At the Envelope Screening Series, Russell talked about reuniting with the primary cast members from his previous two films and how they worked together.
"With this new chapter of filmmaking starting with 'The Fighter,' it just feels like it unfolded naturally," Russell said. "I'd written 'Silver Linings' before 'The Fighter' but it got made after, and they started to become sort of companion volumes."
He continued: "I like being close to my actors, and I like their trust, and I like doing things with them that come from instinct, that are very alive. And so it was very exciting to propose to each of them that we do something that they had never done before in any of their roles."
Russell said developing the characters in the film was a collaborative process, one that began with Bale, who plays con artist Irving Rosenfeld.
"I would go to each actor's house," Russell recalled. "I'd go to Christian Bale's house -- it started in his backyard. And what we both grabbed onto was that larger theme: that [Rosenfeld] was like a movie director or a theater director. He was an artist. He was someone who had great passion for many things, from Duke Ellington to the women in his life to his child and to his art. Not only the paintings but the art of how you act and invent yourself and make other people have hope."
He added: "I become a better writer by auditioning for my actors -- by going to all their houses and saying, 'Your character goes a little something like this.' And then they come back and they tell me about personal things and we start to get very excited about different things, and that's a very fun part of the process."
For more from Russell, including the development of Adams' character, watch the full video above, and check back for more highlights.