In a video for The New York Times, Russell narrates as home-shopping TV honcho Neil Walker (Cooper) shows Joy (Lawrence) around the studio in which she’ll attempt to sell the mop she invented to all the viewers watching at home.
“Jennifer and Bradley, no, they were never really together in American Hustle, and they’re both playing quietley powerful, intense people in this picture,” Russel said in the video. As we see Joy’s first encounter with Joan Rivers, played on screen by her real-life daughter, Melissa, Russell remarked how “fixated” he was with the scene’s rotating stage.
When Neil’s personalities begin selling their jewelry, “the magic factory” reaches a new height. “There’s this rhythm,” Russell said. “We put it to flamenco music because we wanted it to be kind of a bravura sequence that just felt like it was taking on this whole enchanting momentum of its own.”
Watch the video below, in which Russell also discusses Melissa Rivers taking on the role of her mother and the different roles Lawrence and Cooper are playing this time around.
Russell previously told EW that Lawrence had to ‘become a gangster’ to play the film’s leading role, which was inspired by the life of Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano.
“To me, it was never just about the making of a mop,” Russell said. “She had to become something she had never been, which was super badass. You don’t get to become a success unless you become a gangster, to some degree.
“We loved the notion that how success looks on the brochure, to most people, is like this cake,” he added. “But when you really look at the inside of it, it’s got sadness, and it also has tremendous challenges that never end.”
Joy is now playing in theaters.