Creator / David O. Russell

David Owen Russell (born 1958) is an American film director and screenwriter.

He's sometimes notorious for losing his cool during production, particularly during the filming of Three Kings where he nearly got into a brawl with George Clooney, and I Heart Huckabees, where he got into screaming matches with Lily Tomlin (videos of those ended up online). Of course, he mellowed down later on and received Academy Award nominations for directing The Fighter (2010), Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and American Hustle. Clooney and Tomlin both stated that they made up with him.

So far, three of his actors became Oscar winners for his movies (Christian Bale and Melissa Leo for Best Supporting Actor and Actress in The Fighter and Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress in Silver Linings Playbook). Interestingly, both Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle were been nominated for all four acting categories.

Incredibly, he's also appeared As Himself on Gossip Girl, of all shows.


Tropes About Him or His Work:

  • Career Resurrection: His first three films were relatively successful. But in 2004, he made I Heart Huckabees, which got mixed reviews, didn't make a profit, and Russell's difficult on-set behavior became more famous than the actual movie. His next project, Nailed, suffered from so much delay, that production was shut down, because the crew was not getting paid. However, in 2010, Russell made The Fighter, which recieved critical acclaim, was a commercial success and brought him Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Picture. His next two films followed suit.
  • Old Shame: His failed project, Nailed, which got released on 2015 under a new title, Accidental Love. He even used the Alan Smithee approach where he had his name removed and use "Stephen Greene" instead for the credits. Anyone who had seen the movie agreed with his choice to distance it since it's really a shitty movie.
  • Prima Donna Director: Russell could be seen as a real life deconstruction of this trope. With Three Kings, there were stories about him beating up extras (and trying to beat up George Clooney) but the film was acclaimed nonetheless. Come the mediocre reception and box office of I Heart Huckabees, with news about his unstable, abusive personality becoming more viral, it meant that writers were more free to mock him for his actions. However, he seems to have mellowed with age as all his films from The Fighter onwards have no reported incidents, but it's still a major Never Live It Down period for him.
    • Then it was revealed that his temper flared up again during the production of American Hustle, with him grabbing people, screaming at others and was such a Jerkass towards Amy Adams that Christian Bale had to intervene.
  • Production Posse: So far, he often works with Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.
  • What Could Have Been: His long-planned mafia series for Amazon was killed in 2017 thanks to the suddenly radioactive involvement of Harvey Weinstein after his decades of sexual harassment and rape were exposed.