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“American Hustle” Opening Puts Worcester on the Map

Friday, December 13, 2013


The movie that has been the talk of the town since filming in Worcester last April is about to finally hit the big screen. Already being met with critical acclaim and major award nominations, the opening of "American Hustle" is generating excitement around the country -- and especially in Worcester, with people curious to see what made the director's cut as Worcester is poised to be featured front and center in Tinsletown and nationally.

"If it can bring the same level of fame to Millbury Street along the lines of what Cheers did for Boston....how great would that be?," asked John Giangregorio, President of the Canal District Business Association, of the filming that took place at various locations, including Nick's on Millbury, in April.

The filming of the movie generated tremendous interest last spring when Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper were in town for the project directed by David O. Russell, based on the FBI's 1970-80 Abscam sting operation. Worcester businesses such as Woosta Pizza, Spoodles Deli, Subway, and Honey Dew Donuts all got "facelifts" for scenes in the film -- and who made the final edits will soon be seen.

See GoLocal's coverage of the impact of filming HERE.

Erin Williams, Worcester's Cultural Development Officer who was one of the major facilitators of the filming, told GoLocal, "We certainly have a lot to offer here, not just from architectural detail, but the way everyone works together and rolls up their sleeves. We make it as easy as possible for films to come shoot here. And it's not just big budget films -- we have a strong independent film industry that has been growing and thriving here. It really is an exciting time for the arts in Worcester."

Initial Screenings Generating Excitement

Opening in select cities today and everywhere on December 20, the film was screened on Wednesday night at the Coolidge Corner theater in Brookline.

See a preview HERE.

"We were so excited. We've been waiting what feels like forever to see it!" said Nicole Watson, whose was closely involved with "American Hustle" production, and filming at Nick's.

"They reserved a great portion of the theater for the crew, which was great," said Watson. "One of my friends was a sound guy for film, and they were fantastic during the filming, letting us to see things up close and through the director's lens. So it was wonderful and somewhat bizarre to finally see what we'd been speculating. It was really very good -- and it was awesome to hear all the applause at the end, which you don't usually get at the movies."

Of Worcester being featured in the Golden Globe nominated movie, Watson said, "The city is in there so prominently....it was just as fun to see not just Nick's, but the Midtown Mall, the art museum, the interior of the bank. Of course, I found the Nick's scenes the most exciting, naturally."

Watson noted the creative liberty that filming in the city afforded the movie. "Look out for the scene where they're at a mens' social club, singing "Delilah". They changed the room to look different...but it's really Nick's!"

Coolidge Corner Program Director Mark Anastasio said of Wednesday's showing, "It was a public screening that was ticketed as part of the New York Film Critics' preview series. We had a full house. I thought it was very entertaining -- I was laughing my head off."

Speaking to the audience in attendance at the nationally renowned theater, Anastasio said, "The crowd was totally into it, we had a lot of union members, it was a pretty cool rowdy crowd. The grips, extras -- people were here appreciating their work. It was great."

Critical Acclaim Awaits?

Will American Hustle dominate the Golden Globes this season?

American Hustle, directed by David O. Russell and featuring a star-studded cast, was tapped this week with seven Golden Globe nominations, received the New York Film Critics Award, and received multiple nods for the Screen Actors Guild awards -- as well as glowing reviews from critics.

Giangregorio, who had said he hoped Nicks's could be to Worcester's answer to "Cheers", mentioned that there as a unique opportunity this weekend for people interested in checking out the best Worcester has to offer for libations "Our Santa Clause pub crawl is this weekend starting at 6:30 on Saturday at Mai Thai's."


Related Slideshow: Cast and Crew of American Hustle

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Christian Bale

One of the most versatile actors in the business, Christian Bale's acting credits include everything from playing the Caped Crusader in three Batman films to a serial killer in American Psycho. Bale's performance in American Hustle has attracted a lot of attention— including a Golden Globe nomination. American Hustle marks the second time Bale has worked with director David O. Russell. Bale earned an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for 2010's The Fighter, which Russell directed.

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Bradley Cooper

Despite achieving stardom with his comedic roles in The Hangover series, Bradley Cooper has shown he can be quite the dramatic actor too with roles in Silver Linings Playbook (also directed by David O. Russell) and The Place Beyond the Pines. Cooper’s portrayal of FBI agent Richie DiMaso in American Hustle has earned him a Golden Globe nomination. Cooper earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Lead Actor for Silver Linings Playbook

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Amy Adams

One of the most sought-after actresses on screen today, Amy Adams has starred in everything ranging from indie films like The Master to blockbuster superhero flicks like Man of Steel. Adams previously worked with David O. Russell on The Fighter, which earned her an Academy Award nomination. Adams has earned four Oscar nominations overall and is eyeing a fifth for American Hustle—a performance that has already landed her a Gold Globe nod.

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Jeremy Renner

Comic book fans will recognize Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye in hugely successful movie The Avengers, but this talented actor is perhaps better known for his work in serious dramas like The Town and The Hurt Locker—both of which earned him Oscar nominations. In addition to American Hustle, Renner can next be seen in the upcoming film Kill the Messenger

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Jennifer Lawrence

From her humble beginnings on the TBS sitcom The Bill Engvall Show, Jennifer Lawrence is currently one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood thanks to her portrayal of Katniss Everdeen in the wildly popular Hunger Games series. Aside from blockbusters, Lawrence has starred in independent films like The Burning Plain and Winter’s Bone, which earned her an Oscar nomination. Despite not winning the Oscar for Winter’s Bone, Lawrence nabbed the Best Actress award at the Academy Awards earlier this year for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook.

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Robert De Niro

Considered one of the greatest actors of his time, Robert De Niro has won two Academy Awards and been nominated for five others. Most recently, De Niro earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in Silver Linings Playbook. Back working with David O. Russell for the second time, De Niro has a supporting role in American Hustle playing Victor Tellegio. He can next be seen playing opposite Sylvester Stallone in the boxing movie Grudge Match, which opens on Christmas Day.

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Louis C.K.

One of the most popular stand-up comedians in the country today, Louis C.K. is the star, writer, producer, and director behind the Emmy-winning comedy series Louie. C.K. most recently co-starred in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, which starred Oscar winner Cate Blanchett.

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Michael Peña

Michael Pena first gained notoriety for his breakthrough performance in the Oscar-winning film Crash. Pena has also co-starred in countless films including World Trade Center, Shooter, End of Watch and Gangster Squad. Most recently, Pena lent his voice to the hot animated film Turbo.

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David O. Russell

David O. Russell is an Oscar nominated film director and screenwriter whose films include Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter, which like American Hustle, was filmed in Massachusetts. Russell's latest film, American Hustle, recently earned seven Golden Globe nominations.


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Edward Saucier

Jennifer Lawrence turns me on. She may be young enough to be my grand daughter but so what? The heart want's what the heart want's.

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