Jennifer Lawrence may well take home her second straight Academy Award on Sunday for her performance in American Hustle, but the real-life model for her on-screen husband in the film, Abscam con artist Mel Weinberg, directed some criticism her way in an ABC News interview.
Weinberg was the real person, who was called “Irving Rosenfeld” in the film, was played in American Hustle by Christian Bale — the small-time con man enlisted by the FBI to lure big-name politicians into bribery schemes, via a sting operation code-named Abscam.
Now 89, Weinberg said that until he saw the David O. Russell-directed movie, he hadn’t seen an actual movie since Scarface with Al Pacino. That epic gangster flick hit screens in 1983. But he still offered his review of American Hustle, and Jennifer Lawrence, who played Rosenfeld’s (that is Weinberg’s) wife in the move.
“In the movie, the wife was hotter than the girlfriend,” Weinberg opined in the ABC interview. “I mean, it shoulda been the other way around. The mistress should always be hotter than your wife.”
That backhanded compliment to Jennifer Lawrence could also be taken as a dig at Amy Adams, who plays “the mistress,” called Sydney Prosser in the film, but whose name in real life was Evelyn Knight.
Jennifer Lawrence is also decades younger than the real woman she portrayed. Lawrence’s character Rosalyn Rosenfeld was actually named Cynthia Marie Weinberg and was in her late 40s at the time of the Abscam events depicted in the film. Jennifer Lawrence is 23.
Cynthia Weinberg committed suicide, hanging herself in her Florida condominium in 1982, just two years after the events portrayed in the film.
While Jennifer Lawrence may not have a fan in Mel Weinberg, she definitely has one in her chief competition for the Oscar in the Best Supporting Actress category, Lupita Nyong’o. The Kenyan actress in her feature film debut is nominated for her performance as an abused slave woman on a southern plantation in 12 Years A Slave.
She was favored to win the award, until Jennifer Lawrence beat her out for the British version of that award, the BAFTA. Now, the category is seen as a toss-up Sunday.
Appearing on The Late Show With David Letterman earlier, Nyong’o responded to Letterman’s remark that Jennifer Lawrence was “kooky,” by saying, “That’s what makes her so good. I just love the faces she makes.”