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Creator / David O. Russell

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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. Other violent incidents include putting Christopher Nolan in a headlock at a party in 2004 over Jude Law dropping out of Huckabees for The Prestige for the paycheck to cover a divorce settlement. Law would later reverse the decision.


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 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:

  • Hostility on the Set: Infamously.
    • On the set of Three Kings, he got into a fistfight with George Clooney due to Russell abusing an extra.
    • He got into screaming matches with Lily Tomlin on the set of I Heart Huckabees. Twice.
    • Luckily averted with The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook.
    • Played straight again with American Hustle. Amy Adams revealed that David screamed at her so many times on set that she "felt like crying every day". It got so bad that Christian Bale stepped in to defend her.
    • Not even Joy was safe from this, as he reportedly got into another screaming match, this time with Jennifer Lawrence, who reportedly was unhappy with how Russell was directing a scene. This example, however is played with as due to differing facts, it's not made clear what exactly happened.note 
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  • 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.
  • 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.