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 ♥ 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) and Silver Linings Playbook
(2012). 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 ♥ 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.
- 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 ♥ 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.
- Production Posse: So far, he often works with Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.