- Actor Allusion:
- Actor-Inspired Element:
- Bradley Cooper suggested that Richie should have a perm, and also to have him wearing curlers in the scene at his apartment.
- Rosalyn giving Sydney a kiss was Amy Adams' idea. In the script, Rosalyn just gave her a talking to and then left. Realising that Sydney would not just let her leave like that, Adams suggested the kiss as a way of completely stunning Sydney.
- All-Star Cast: Seriously, you got Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence in one package. And Robert de Niro has a cameo.
- Creator Backlash: Amy Adams doesn't look too fondly on her time in this movie, later confessing that David O. Russell shouted so much abuse at her on set that she "felt like crying every day".
- Dyeing for Your Art: Christian Bale, as usual. He put on 43 pounds to play the overweight Irving. He also shaved his head, so he'd have an authentic combover and affected a slouchy posture throughout, herniating two discs in the process. Robert de Niro apparently didn't recognise him when they shot their scene, and had David O. Russell point out who Christian Bale was.
- Fake American: The Welsh-born English Christian Bale and English Jack Huston play American characters.
- Fake Nationality: There's a couple of In-Universe examples:
- Sydney constantly fakes a British accent in order to pass herself off as "Lady Edith Greensly".
- And there's the Mexican FBI agent who impersonates an Arab sheik, which gets lampshaded by Irving as ridiculous.
- Playing Against Type:
- Sort of, with Amy Adams. Sydney has many moments with Irving, particularly in the beginning, that call to mind Amy's typical "sweetheart" persona. Still, it's pretty hard to imagine Princess Giselle as a sexually aggressive Femme Fatale.
- To a lesser extent, Jeremy Renner. Usually as a military man or action-oriented in some way - not to mention Good Is Not Nice and Deadpan Snarker. Carmine is the Non-Action Guy and a squeaky-clean mayor.
- Playing Gertrude: In true David O. Russell tradition, Rosalyn's real life counterpart was in her mid-30s. Jennifer Lawrence was twenty-three. She's implied to be something of a trophy wife - but is clearly still meant to be older than Lawrence was at the time.
- Playing with Character Type: Amy Adams plays a Femme Fatale who was once innocent but had to reinvent herself as a vamp to "survive", and there are several moments that call to mind Amy's typical sweetheart persona.
- Production Posse: David O Russell brings many of his regulars such as Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Rohm and Robert de Niro in a cameo. He had also worked with Christian Bale and Amy Adams before as well.
- Real-Life Relative: When Carmine is greeting the city as Mayor, he kisses a child on the hands. This is Jeremy Renner's own daughter Ava. The woman holding the girl is Renner's ex-wife Sonni Pacheco.
- Throw It In!:
- The kiss that Rosalyn lays on Sydney during their bathroom confrontation was apparently done at Amy Adams' insistence.
- Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence were having trouble with the scripted argument between Irving and Rosalyn - so they just improvised the whole thing instead.
- The ice fishing story was improvised on set. It has an ending that isn't heard in the film. The brother ended up taking a shit on the ice.
- What Could Have Been:
- Ben Affleck was also signed on to direct.
- Although Christian Bale was the first choice for Irving, he had to briefly drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Bradley Cooper was already cast as Richie and was then going to replace Bale. Jeremy Renner was then going to replace Cooper as Richie. But when Bale's schedule cleared up, everyone reverted to their initial parts - and Carmine was then written so that Renner could star.
- The original script of the movie which was entitled American Bullshit has a Lighter and Softer approach such as Bradley Cooper's and Christian Bale's characters being more heroic and friendly to each other but Amy Adams' and Jennifer Lawrence's characters were Demoted to Extra and had little involvement in the con. It also used the real names of those involved in the ABSCAM operation except for Mel's wife (who actually committed suicide).
- Working Title: Originally, the title of this film was American Bullshit. Though that would end up as a Censored Title.
Trivia / American Hustle