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David O. Russell flips his shit
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Rob Gonsalves
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:05 am    Post subject: David O. Russell flips his shit Reply with quote

Wasn't there a story about how George Clooney almost throttled David O. Russell on the set of Three Kings?

Now I see why.

What. A. Dick.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being a dick is bad enough. Being a dick to LILY TOMLIN? Unacceptable.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clooney's rep just went up that much more in my book.

I love how Tomlin just kind of sits there and lets him flail. "Dude. I worked with Altman. You ain't shit."
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It gets worse. You can hear him still yelling in the background in this scene, and this one, and Tomlin's clearly starting to lose it as time goes on.

What an asshole. But what I don't get is why someone with the stature of Dustin Hoffman would stand by as this was going on. even Schwartzman and Wahlberg just sit there and listen to it. Nobody jumps to her defense, nobody says "I won't listen to this shit"...

Weak.

But then, Tomlin says it best right here.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boy, it's tougher being a misunderstood genius of the cinematic arts than I thought....
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always wondered what the O. in his name stood for.

Apparently, it's not an "O." It's an asshole.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I youtube.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. I bet at that moment Dustin was missing the gentle wit of Laurence Olivier who was far more subdued in dressing down his co-worker during Marathon Man. Lily just told him where he could stick his "method". Wow.

All that pain for a smugly self-aware shitass film I couldn't even endure for twenty minutes.

The only thing I found interesting was as much as I like Jude Law as an actor, I wouldn't have much trouble believing that if you removed the Brit accent that's pretty close to the guy you'd have.

Wow. That was better than morning coffee.

Does anyone know if that was Naomi Watts who was stifiling a laugh in the car which prompted Tomlin to rip her a new one? Holee shit. What a way to make a livin', huh?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oz wrote:
But what I don't get is why someone with the stature of Dustin Hoffman would stand by as this was going on. even Schwartzman and Wahlberg just sit there and listen to it. Nobody jumps to her defense, nobody says "I won't listen to this shit"...


Schwartzman might've been intimidated. Hoffman used to be an argumentative little shit in his younger days, maybe he's mellowed a lot and just went to a happy place in his head. Wahlberg, though? I'm surprised he didn't just clock the fucker, given his Southie background.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

People on the whole fear conflict. Judging Hoffman's reactions, like Rob I think he's done with the on set hissy fits- too old for it. He appeared to be more of a mediator to just get whatever was out there on film (much to Tomlin's chagrin) and just finish the job.

Shit man, somebody should just make a docu "Hearts of Darkness" style with all that type of footage. This was great.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This'd be a good time to compile a list of Asshole Directors — known assholes on the set.

Russell's in like a bullet now. Then there's:

James Cameron (duh)

William Friedkin (let Ellen Burstyn get hurt while shooting a scene on The Exorcist and then kept filming her screaming in pain)

John Landis (can't be any bigger of an asshole than getting three people killed for the sake of a shot)

Victor Salva (though it's hard to know what he was like on the set, we know what he did off of it)

...Hmm. There could be a feature in this.

Any other asshole directors you can think of?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure everything can be explained by looking at Mr. Russell's biography:

A Nobel- and Pulitzer-Prize-winning professor of psychology at an Ivy-level university, also a world-renowned ventriloquist and gourmet chef, passing the time by contributing to Wikipedia for the benefit of mankind wrote:
David Owen Russell (born 20 August 1958 in New York) is an American film director and screenwriter. He directed and wrote Three Kings and the existential comedy I ♥ Huckabees . Earlier films include the independents Flirting with Disaster and Spanking the Monkey.

Russell was born in Larchmont, New York to a Jewish father and an Italian Catholic mother. He graduated from Amherst College in 1981, majoring in political science and English.


Hmmm...

Larchmont -- per capita income of $73,000. Money rules!
New York -- Center of the Universe
Polisci and English major -- "I know everything"
Jewish father and Italian Catholic mother -- I'm not getting into this.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oz wrote:
and Tomlin's clearly starting to lose it as time goes on.


Um, yeah.

Out of context, those other clips make it look like Tomlin's being the asshole, but that longer clip kinda puts it in perspective.

I mean, if someone as amiable as Clooney finally lost his shit when dealing with Russell (I've heard of no other Clooney on-set incidents, other than his penchant for pranks), I can only imagine what's gonna happen when you put Russell with someone as no-bullshit and probably temperamental as Tomlin, who has always struck me as someone who does not suffer fools gladly.

Which isn't to blame Tomlin — you put her with a director who treats her decently and doesn't call her a cunt, I'm sure she's fine. But she was clearly not up for dealing with DOR's particular brand of bullshit. And it's a bit unfortunate that her ire spread out to Hoffman and Watts, who were probably just trying to get through the day. Even Hoffman says something like "Let's just fucking shoot already," as if to say "Yeah, Russell's a prick, but the faster we give him what he wants the faster we can all go home."
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But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams.

- Iris Barry, Let's Go to the Movies, 1926
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Shoot him again. His soul is still dancing.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found this on one of the many blogs covering the Huckabees incident:

PLAYBOY: What made you want to do [Three Kings]?
CLOONEY: David Russell wrote as good a script as I've ever read. I fought to get it. He wanted a lot of other actors before me. They went to Mel and to Nic Cage. I wanted to work on this movie. David is in many ways a genius, though I learned that he's not a genius when it comes to people skills.
PLAYBOY: Did you learn about that the hard way?
CLOONEY: I did. He yelled and screamed at people all day, from day one.
PLAYBOY: Did he yell at you?
CLOONEY: At me often — and at someone daily. He'd throw off his headset and scream, 'Today the sound department flicked me!' For me, it came to a head a couple of times. Once, he went after a camera-car driver who I knew from high school. I had nothing to do with his getting his job, but David began yelling and screaming at him and embarrassing him in front of everybody. I told him, 'You can yell and scream and even fire him, but what you can't do is humiliate him in front of people. Not on my set, if I have any say about it.'

Another time he screamed at the script supervisor and made her cry. I wrote him a letter and said, 'Look, I don't know why you do this. You've written a brilliant script, and I think you're a good director. Let's not have a set like this. I don't like it and I don't work well like this.' I'm not one of those actors who likes things in disarray. He read the letter and we started all over again.

But later, we were three weeks behind schedule, which puts some pressure on you, and he was in a bad mood. These army kids, who were working as extras, were supposed to tackle us. David wanted one of the extras to grab me and throw me down. This kid was a little nervous about it, and David walked up to him and grabbed him. He pushed him onto the ground.

He kicked him and screamed, 'Do you want to be in this f**king movie? Then throw him to the f**king ground!' The second assistant director came up and said, 'You don't do that, David. You want them to do something, you tell me.' David grabbed his walkie-talkie and threw it on the ground. He screamed, 'Shut the f**k up! F**k you, and the AD goes, 'F**k you! I quit.' He walked off.

It was a dangerous time. I'd sent him this letter. I was trying to make things work, so I went over and put my arm around him. I said, 'David, it's a big day. But you can't shove, push, or humiliate people who aren't allowed to defend themselves.' He turned on me and said, 'Why don't you just worry about your f**ked-up act? You're being a d**k. You want to hit me? You want to hit me? Come on, pussy, hit me.' I'm looking at him like he's out of his mind. Then he started banging me on the head with his head. He goes, 'Hit me, you pussy. Hit me.' Then he got me by the throat and I went nuts. I had him by the throat. I was going to kill him. Kill him. Finally, he apologized, but I walked away. By then, the Warner Bros. guys were freaking out. David sort of pouted through the rest of the shoot and we finished the movie, but it was truly, without exception, the worst experience of my life."

Then I found this on another blog, and this one I somehow hadn't heard about:

"At a Hollywood party, Mr. Russell, a lean, muscular 46-year-old with dark, lanky hair, runs into [Christopher] Nolan and — in full view of the party guests — puts him in a headlock. Wrapping his arm around Mr. Nolan’s neck, Mr. Russell demands that his fellow director show artistic solidarity and give up his star in order to save ”Huckabees.”"

Jesus Christ. (For those who hadn't read about it, Nolan was going to have Jude Law in Batman Begins, but apparently that would've fucked with Huckabees' shooting schedule.)
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Shoot him again. His soul is still dancing.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob Gonsalves wrote:
This'd be a good time to compile a list of Asshole Directors — known assholes on the set.

Any other asshole directors you can think of?


Francis Ford Coppola circa 1970's- the Aforementioned "Hearts of Darkness" doc pretty much cements him as the uberprick of the decade- particularly his supplanting death itself with regard to Martin Sheen's ailing condition "Marty isn't dead until I fucking say Marty's dead!"

Werner Herzog- Did Klaus Kinski die of natural causes or did Werner kill him through mental abuse and blunt force trauma?

Sam Peckinpah- - his Wild Bunch actors save for Holden weren't bothering to commit their lines to memory and on the DVD you
can hear audio of him browbeating them with obscenitites. Also I remember some vague anecdote about Charlton Heston threatening to run him through with a sword due to abusive acts towards crew during some film.

that's all that spring to mind at the moment.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard the same about Coppola. He was on "Inside the Actor's Studio" a couple of years back, and when Lipton asked him what his favorite curse word was, Coppola was shocked and muttered that he never cursed. He seemed offended at the question, which Lipton asks every guest. I thought "hmm, Francis, maybe time to rent 'Hearts of Darkness' again."
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also know, as good as he was, John Ford could be quite a shit. During "They Were Expendable," Ford was constantly abusing John Wayne for not joining the military during WWII. Robert Montgomery finally told Ford to knock it off or he would walk. Ford had the last laugh by putting the ranks and branches of service on the names of everyone in the cast and crew who served during the war in the opening credits. Civilian Wayne's name is listed as is.

Ironically, by the time Wayne directed "The Alamo," he brought the alcoholic Ford in to shoot "second unit," giving him a job even though most of his footage was worthless. I did read Ford also dropped out of "Mister Roberts" and took a co-directing credit thanks to his boozing.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CharlesTatum wrote:
I've heard the same about Coppola. He was on "Inside the Actor's Studio" a couple of years back, and when Lipton asked him what his favorite curse word was, Coppola was shocked and muttered that he never cursed. He seemed offended at the question, which Lipton asks every guest. I thought "hmm, Francis, maybe time to rent 'Hearts of Darkness' again."


Heh. That's hilarious. Must be one of those convenient fueges from his diesel tankers of cocaine back in the day, cuz believe me, that footage his wife taped, and most of the footage from that docu has him dropping the F-Bomb like a turrets clinical trial candidate.

Thought I'm willing to bet he probably sounded the same filming something like "Jack".
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Roman Polanski is up there, for several well publicized and obvious reasons (lock up your daughters).

For mine, nobody beats the assholery of Hitchcock. He had an initiation rite that he put all new PAs through, where he'd bet them they couldn't spend the night in the studio, in the dark, chained to a camera, without losing their shit. They'd, of course, take the bet, then he'd leave them a water bottle filled with laxatives and lock the doors for twelve hours.

Ho ho, chortle chortle - asshole.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See I wasn't sure about Hitchcock- I couldn't separate the actual stuff from the Babylon horseshit- the live birds stapled to Tippi, Letting a tarantula crawl over arachnophobe Cary Grant's hand so he could get a reaction shot during North by NW, Grace Kelly stripping for him from across the street so he could spy on her but not touch, etc, etc. I just don't know what's legend versus fact with the guy.

One of those "where there's smoke" examples probably.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kand El wrote:
Werner Herzog


Yeah, but he's God.

I mean, anyone who can get shot while doing an interview and then shrug it off and say "It was not a significant bullet"...beautiful. My favorite director story ever. I still haven't stopped laughing. The guys in 300 look at Herzog and feel like waldos.

If I had a daughter, Herzog could piss in my daughter's Cheerios and I'd be like "But dude, it's Herzog."
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently Lily and DOR made nice-nice afterward:

Quote:
Asked about the incident later, Mr. Russell says: ''Sure, I wish I hadn't done that. But Lily and I are fine.'' For her part, Ms. Tomlin admits that both she and Mr. Russell lost control. ''It's not a practice on his part or my part,'' she says. ''I'd rather have someone human and available and raw and open. Don't give me someone cold, or cut off, or someone who considers themselves dignified.''


...yeah, that has "Let's put on a happy face and not hurt the movie" written all over it. Not that it worked for the box office.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob Gonsalves wrote:

Schwartzman might've been intimidated. Hoffman used to be an argumentative little shit in his younger days, maybe he's mellowed a lot and just went to a happy place in his head. Wahlberg, though? I'm surprised he didn't just clock the fucker, given his Southie background.


Isn't Schwartzman part of the Coppola clan? I swear I thought he was related to them in some way. If so, I wouldn't say intimidated. Jaded would be more like it.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, he's Talia Shire's son. I'm sure he's seen Uncle Francis throw quite a few Thanksgiving turkey across the dining room.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but Coppola is a roly-poly teddy bear. He probably has a different mode of apeshit than Russell, who, if Clooney is to be believed (and I believe him), actually physically assaulted people on set, including Clooney. I can see Coppola hollering at you and then five minutes later giving you a new PlayStation 3 because at heart he's a fat Italian boy who just wants to be liked. (As opposed to Scorsese, also quite a coke-fuelled asshole back in the day, who by some accounts was pretty fucking scary. Coppola is your blustery emotional Uncle Frank — he'll growl, take a nap, then hug you. Scorsese, back in the '70s anyway, was the short kid down the block who wanted to kick everyone's ass. He's apparently a lot mellower now, having turned into everyone's Uncle Marty.) I don't picture Coppola whupping on someone's head like Russell did.

Not to say Coppola isn't a prick at times. I still remember the story about him yelling "You're a fucking slut" at Winona Ryder to get her "prepared" for a scene in Dracula. Little leftover Godfather III resentment there, Francis?

In brief, it's one thing to see your uncle going off. He's your uncle. Uncles do that, and you get used to it. It's another thing to be in a room with a director who isn't family, who's totally losing it and would have no compunction about grabbing your throat. I guarantee you everyone in that room had heard the Clooney anecdote. Tomlin didn't give a fuck; she worked with Richard Pryor back in the '60s, there ain't much that's gonna scare her. The guys in the room (or the car), they knew a street punk when they saw one, and they either dove for cover, said "I'm too old for this shit anymore" (Hoffman), or just figured it wasn't worth it to make DOR chug a few of his own teeth (Wahlberg).
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