Bradley Cooper in "American Hustle"

Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle”

*If you’ve seen the trailer for “American Hustle,” the David O. Russell film based on the FBI’s ABSCAM sting operation during the late 1970s and early 1980s, then you’ve seen Bradley Cooper with his hair rolled up in some plastic perm rods — the very ones stored in every mobile bin at every hair salon, or sported by at least one of the homies in 1985.

In the film, Cooper plays FBI agent Richie DiMaso, a colorful character who recruits a con man (Christian Bale) and his lover/partner (Amy Adams) for the ABSCAM operation.


Cooper says DiMaso’s (that-ain’t-nothin’-but-an-ultra) perm was a joint project along with director Russell, crafted to add another dimension to the character.

“The exterior, the crustacean around the sort of spirit that David was creating, it all was informed around the idea that DiMaso is a child really, a young boy,” Cooper said during a press conference for the film Sunday in New York. “And also we wanted him to look different, that maybe I’d be a bit unrecognizable. We thought maybe curly hair.”

That’s an understatement.

Below, Cooper goes into more detail about his curl.

“American Hustle” opens in limited release on Dec. 13.

Watch the trailer below.