Christian Bale’s epic comb-over in “American Hustle” deserves its own special Oscar, but if you’re curious whether his character’s real-life counterpart had such bad hair — now you can see for yourself!
“60 Minutes” released a 1981 interview with Mel Weinberg, the con artist who was the basis for the Oscar-nominated Bale’s character Irving Rosenfeld.
Weinberg was at the heart of the FBI’s Abscam sting operation in the 1970s that brought down one U.S. senator, six congressman, and a mayor for bribery and corruption.
“Set a crook to catch a crook,” Weinberg told Mike Wallace of the idea behind the operation. “We put the big honey pot out there and all the flies came to us.
Watch the interview below!
Gallery | Oscars 2014 Best Picture Nominees
- ‘Her’ (Dir. Spike Jonze)
Set in the (shockingly plausible) near-future, “Her” portrays a lonely writer’s unlikely, and potentially damaging, relationship with his newly purchased operating system following his failed marriage and paralyzing heartbreak. Written and directed by Spike Jonze, the film has been lauded for its touching and original script that looks at humanity’s reliance on technology, while simultaneously examining relationships in general. Joaquin Phoenix is brilliant in the starring role alongside Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson, the latter of whom voiced the sexy operating system, Samantha. “Her” has been nominated for five Oscars, including Best Original Screenplay.
- ’12 Years a Slave’ (Dir. Steve McQueen)
Oscar-nominated Chiwetel Ejiofor is spectacular as Solomon Northup, a free man turned slave, in director Steve McQueen’s finest feature to date. Arguably one of the most fearless depictions of American slavery, McQueen’s Oscar-contender doesn’t pull any punches, knocking the viewer into a grisly, disturbing world right from the start. Making the horror even more potent — and, at times, unbearable — is the realization that such atrocities took place less than two hundred years ago. Amidst all the hard-to-watch images, however, the Oscar-nominated director inserts beautiful vignettes that make the film even more haunting. “12 Years a Slave” is nominated for nine Oscars, including Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor for Lupita Nyong’o and Michael Fassbender, respectively.
- ‘Philomena’ (Dir. Stephen Frears)
“Philomena” follows the struggle of an older woman who, with the help of a journalist, sets out to find her long-lost son decades after being forced to give him up for adoption. Judi Dench gives a wonderful performance as the titular Philomena Lee in the Stephen Frears film, earning the Dame her seventh Oscar nomination. While Coogan is not up for an acting award, the film was a passion project for the Brit: he co-write the Oscar-nominated screenplay with Jeff Pope and is also up for the Best Picture award as a producer. Critics have praised “Philomena,” which has garnered a well-deserved four Oscar nominations, but there’s little buzz for the flick heading into the special night.
- ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (Dir. Martin Scorsese)
Based on Jordan Belfort’s memoirs, “The Wolf of Wall Street” re-teams Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio in the story of a crooked stockbroker’s meteoric rise, outlandish behavior, and sudden fall. Set in the ’80s and early ’90s, the comedy-drama is Scorsese at his most adult — and has stirred up quite the controversy as a result. Audiences have been split about the onscreen debauchery and its three-hour running time, but the Academy has awarded it five Oscar nominations, including a Best Director nod for Scorsese. DiCaprio has been praised for his comedic chops, while Jonah Hill holds his own opposite the A-list star in the supporting role of Donnie Azoff, leading to nominations for both actors.
- ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ (Dir. Jean-Marc Vallée)
Based on real events, “Dallas Buyers Club” tells the story of Ron Woodroof, a rodeo cowboy and hustler, who works the system to give AIDS patients invaluable help after getting diagnosed with the disease himself. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, the poignant film has been receiving much praise, particularly for its two stars — Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto — who have both been taking home major acting awards. McConaughey plays the gruff Woodroof, whose transformation into an endearing, unrelenting AIDS patient advocate is seen by Rayon, a transgender AIDS patient played by Leto. Including the Best Picture and acting nods, the film has garnered six nominations total.
- ‘Gravity’ (Dir. Alfonso Cuarón)
With near-unanimous praise, “Gravity” is heading into the Oscars with a full head of steam. Nominated for an impressive ten awards, the suspenseful space film is a visual and technological wonder, stunning from the opening shot to the end credits. The movie follows a medical engineer (Sandra Bullock) adrift in space, struggling to make her way to safety. Alone for the majority of the film, the versatile actress was outstanding and has been credited by Cuaron as instrumental to the entire production.
- ‘Nebraska’ (Dir. Alexander Payne)
Directed by Academy favorite Alexander Payne, “Nebraska” tells the story of a cranky, booze-addled patriarch on an impromptu road trip through the Midwest with his estranged son, hellbent on collecting a million dollar prize… that doesn’t actually exist. In his comeback role, Bruce Dern turns in an Oscar-nominated performance opposite the versatile Will Forte and June Squibb, the latter of whom is also nominated. Shot in black-and-white, “Nebraska” is a funny, sentimental, and ultimately heartwarming tale that justly earned its six Oscar nominations.
- ‘American Hustle’ (Dir. David O. Russell)
Receiving an incredible ten nominations, “American Hustle” tells the story of a brilliant con man (Christian Bale) and his female partner (Amy Adams), who are forced to work with agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) and the FBI to bring down some of New Jersey’s most powerful men. In his follow-up to last year’s acclaimed “Silver Linings Playbook,” David O. Russell put together another impressive ensemble. Adams, Bale, and Cooper have all been nominated for acting awards as well as Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Bale’s manipulative housewife. Not to be overlooked, however, is the talented Jeremy Renner as the mayor of Camden, N.J.
- ‘Captain Phillips’ (Dir. Paul Greengrass)
Starring Tom Hanks in the titular role, “Captain Phillips” examines the 2009 hijacking of an American cargo ship by Somali pirates, and the resulting Navy SEAL rescue. Directed by Paul Greengrass (“The Bourne Supremacy”), the taught, adrenaline-pumping flick has garnered rave reviews and earned the film six Academy Award nominations. Despite earning a Golden Globe nomination for his performance, Hanks has been left out of this year’s Oscars, however, newcomer Barkhad Abdi has earned a well-deserved Best Supporting Actor nod for playing the lead hijacker. There’s little buzz for “Captain Phillips” winning the Best Picture Oscar, but don’t be surprised to see it take home an editing or sound award.
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