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George Clooney and David O Russell

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George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by Katiedot on Mon Dec 13 2010, 11:25

George's on set fight wth him is an oldie, but revived recently because of his latest film release.

From Buffalo news

Explosive director in the ring with Bale, Wahlberg for 'Fighter'By Jeff Simon

Published: December 12, 2010

Go ahead, by all means. Find it on YouTube.

Director David O. Russell and Lily Tomlin are having a tiff on the set of Russell's "I (Heart) Huckabees."

To say that things don't go well is a felonious understatement. On YouTube -- where it has been preserved for digital eternity by Perez Hilton -- you can see Russell dramatically sweep everything off a desk on the set and wander in and out of it raining violent, vicious and obscene abuse on top of Tomlin's head.

On a previous Russell film -- "Three Kings" -- the story that George Clooney told Playboy magazine in 2000 is that he objected to the abusive way Russell was treating an assistant director. Russell counter-objected. And then head-butted Clooney and grabbed his throat whereupon, according to Clooney, the actor "went nuts" and had to be restrained by a friend named Waldo from killing the director.

Wait. There's more. Competing with those for legendary Hollywood film set explosion of the past 25 years was actor Christian Bale's eruption on the set of "Terminator: Salvation," lobbing angry, threatening f-bombs at the cinematographer who'd made the gaffe of interfering with Bale's sightlines.

Once upon a time, before YouTube and journalists prowling movie sets and reporting everything (Sharon Waxman was there when Russell went ballistic at Tomlin), stars and directors could go nuclear and the world wouldn't know about it for decades -- if then -- when someone's unbuttoned memoirs came out.

No more. Go ballistic and the whole world will soon be watching.

And now those two men, Russell and Bale figure in one of 2010's best films and are likely candidates for Oscar nominations, especially Bale, who is an almost certain nominee for best supporting actor.

The movie, not-so-coincidentally, is "The Fighter," and opens Friday in area theaters. It stars Mark Wahlberg as boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward and Bale as his half-brother, a talented boxer and hapless crackhead.

The film's history is long, with Wahlberg devotedly training to be a boxer and remaining the film's animating force and only constant (he told his story as part of the publicity wave, on "60 Minutes").

Originally, Darren Aronofsky was supposed to direct the film. Instead, he made "Black Swan," which also opens Friday. Others who were going to play Bale's role at different times were Matt Damon and Brad Pitt. The resultant film -- full as it is with men who understand self-destruction and failure -- is redemption writ large.

On the phone from Hollywood, Russell answers my questions about past storms on his film sets by saying, "Those were embarrassing days that -- let me just say -- were very much in the minority. After you've been humbled and after you've been on the ropes for a couple of years, it challenges you to grow beyond it and grow stronger... The demands of a movie set are many and the pressures are great. But when you get to my age [52] and experience, you can rise above it and set the tone, which I think Mark and I were able to do on this set... Christian likewise [whose attitude, like Russell's] is 'Oh, what a pain in the neck. I don't want to get painted with that. I don't want to repeat that ever again.' And it makes you redouble your efforts to make sure you do not go down that road again."

Clooney? "I just want to put all that behind us. I think it's all history and I don't believe in holding onto grudges. I don't cross paths with him. We have not hung out a lot together. Life is too short to hold onto certain kinds of energy that just saps you of energy."

Which obviously didn't happen in a film as good as "The Fighter."

Russell now, with some justification, called "The Fighter" his best film ever, better than "Three Kings." And no small part of it is its total immersion in Lowell, Mass., a state which is proving to be ground zero for a tangy and brilliant wave of hard-bitten, blue-collar realism in American movies (see "The Town," "The Departed," "Gone Baby Gone," "Mystic River"; "Conviction" was set in blue-collar Massachusetts and filmed in Michigan.)

"This movie has Lowell, Massachusetts in its blood," says Russell on the phone. "It's a town like Buffalo. Of course, everybody says 'Why didn't you shoot it in Canada? It's cheaper.' But Lowell has a very particular look. It was the first mill town in America. It has these tiny little streets with these tiny little buildings -- two-story, flat-iron buildings -- and big intersections with five-corner streets. It's kind of a fascinating place. That's what I loved about everything I saw in Lowell -- those locations. And the people in this town are the salt of the earth. They're road gangers and roofers... and bartenders and laborers."

Russell gladly admits that "The Fighter" had a long life before him, but he's hardly a caboose added to a long train.

"When I get my hands on something, I have to make it my way and see it my way. That fortunately is what the producers [including Wahlberg] wanted. They're not going to bring me in and not have me do what I do."

And one of the things he wound up doing in his draft of the script was beef up the influence of the women in the life of the boxer -- a girlfriend, played by Amy Adams; his mother, played by Melissa Leo, and his sisters.

"I thought the women were fascinating, almost as fascinating as the men in the movie... The sisters, I was fascinated by. I kind of wanted to make a whole movie about the sisters -- this gang of seven bleached-blond women with a bleached-blond mother managing these two brothers. That's what the movie was."

Russell's movies abound in supposedly all-male worlds but also women doing a lot of unusual and flavorful things -- Mary Tyler Moore, for instance, in his first film, "Flirting with Disaster," baring her breasts.

He says now over the phone "any actress wants to stay as hot and lusted after as long as she possibly can. So I think she was very happy to have that scene in that movie and to hold onto her sexy self."

In fact, the one "lost" film of David O. Russell is a project that couldn't have sounded more fascinating on paper. It's a movie called "Nailed," written by Kristin Gore, daughter of Al Gore. It starred Jessica Biel as a woman who was accidentally shot in the head with a nail, which produced wild and bizarre sex urges and made her a test case for the legal rights of the "bizarrely injured." Until, that is, a senator played by Jake Gyllenhaal took advantage of her odd malady.

James Caan was said to have quit in a dispute. Others to have been in the film were Tracy Morgan, Catherine Keener, Paul Reubens and Kirstie Alley.

Mention it to Russell now and he'll joke, "I have had the memory erasure procedure done at Cedars Sinai. I don't know what you're talking about. [Seriously] It was kind of like a Madoffish experience. Wait -- don't say that. The financing was very weird. Basically, I moved on. You've got to keep creating and writing. It just gets in your rearview mirror and you lose your juju for it."

At close, he talked about the obvious movie references to his boxing film -- John Avildsen's original "Rocky" and Martin Scorsese's great classic about Jake LaMotta, "Raging Bull."

"Those are two amazing films, films that I love. And they're about characters you could watch for hours. And that's how they inspired me."


Last edited by Katiedot on Tue Feb 05 2013, 05:27; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : updated thread title)

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by Katiedot on Mon Dec 13 2010, 11:35

I'm still looking for the actual interview. At the moment, this is apparently what George said in the interview:

According to Clooney, Russell was demeaning the crew both verbally and physically. Clooney felt this was out of line and let Russell know by saying:

"David, it's a big day. But you can't shove, push or humiliate people who aren't allowed to defend themselves."

Russell then taunted Clooney by saying:
"Why don't you just worry about your [expletive removed] acting?! You're being a [expletive removed]. You want to hit me? You want to hit me? Come on, [expletive removed], hit me."

Russell then grabbed Clooney by the throat and Clooney "went nuts," pummeling Russell. Russell eventually apologized and filming continued, but Clooney describes the incident as "...the worst experience of my life."

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by Katiedot on Thu Dec 16 2010, 03:15

Another quote:

He'd throw off his headset and scream, "Today the sound department fucked 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. There were three helicopters in the air and 300 extras on the set. It was a tense time, and a little dangerous, too. 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 fucking movie? Then throw him to the fucking 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 fuck up! Fuck you," and the AD goes, "Fuck 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 fucked-up act? You're being a dick. 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. Waldo, my buddy, one of the boys, grabbed me by the waist to get me to let go of him. 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.

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by Admin on Tue Dec 21 2010, 11:21

More about 'the feud', this time from Russell's point of view:

The Hollywood Reporter has uploaded another set of award season roundtable interviews, this time with several of the year's highly regarded directors including David O. Russell (The Fighter), Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids are All Right), Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), Peter Weir (The Way Back) and Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) and I haven't yet watched the 68-minute long interview, but I did watch a couple of the excerpts including the first one I have below in which the group discusses the MPAA.

The opening of the conversation deals with Blue Valentine's initial NC-17 rating, also talks about The King's Speech and how it got an R-rating for 17 utterances of the word "f**k" and then Aronofsky adds his opinion. Then, the second clip involves David O. Russell and the on set issues that have been widely reported from his ordeal with George Clooney on Three Kings and then the turmoil involving Lily Tomlin on I Heart Huckabees.

Interview here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by Katiedot on Tue Jul 12 2011, 14:46

And there's this, from Vanity Fair September 2003:

While calling both Russell and the film "brilliant", Clooney says,
"I would not stand for him humiliating and yelling and screaming at
crew members, who weren't allowed to defend themselves. I don't
believe in it, and it makes me crazy. So my job was then to
humiliate the people who were doing the humiliating."


"I won't even dignify that question with a reply," responds
Russell when I ask him about it, and he notes that he's friends with
most everyone who worked on Three Kings, including Spike Jonze and
Mark Walhberg. Clooney also accuses Russell of "homogenizing" the
script's political tone in order to make it more studio-friendly.
"He never said anything about that to me the entire time we were
shooting," says Russell. "I don't know what the fuck he's talking
about....He's a really good person, and I'm a really bad person,
right? He's a super-political, extremely manipulative guy, and he's
not an artist. I think George is super-invested in making himself
look like the good guy all the time. I think George will be
president."


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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by lucy on Tue Jul 12 2011, 16:06

Sounds like a fun guy to work with, he certainly doesn't work well under pressure,what a prick for treating his co-workers like that!

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by theminis on Thu Jan 31 2013, 20:34

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David O Russell: hated by George Clooney and feared on film sets

The Silver Linings Playbook director is known for his short temper and high profile Hollywood feuds

David O Russell finds himself in Oscar’s sights again this awards season, with eight nominations (including best director) for his sixth feature, Silver Linings Playbook – a truly unexpected take on the traditional romantic comedy, whose clunky title shouldn’t put you off. It stars Hangover heart- throb Bradley Cooper and super-credible Golden Globe-winning Jennifer Lawrence (Oscar- nominated for Winter’s Bone and a hit with the kids in The Hunger Games) as, respectively, the manic-depressive and recovering sex addict whose ensuing, tear-jerking romance acts as a kind of therapy. It’s a film where tissues meet issues.

The New York-born Russell (whose middle initial “O” stands for Owen) originally carved an idiosyncratic niche for himself in the 1990s with offbeat, neurotic comedies Spanking the Monkey and Flirting with Disaster. But Hollywood’s grown-up wunderkind was not to be straitjacketed by indie cool, bringing his own brand of damaged humanity to bear on Gulf War movie Three Kings and double Oscar-winning true-life boxing fable The Fighter.

But he stands apart from talented contemporaries like Paul Thomas Anderson and Alexander Payne because of a reputation for being, shall we say... difficult. In 2004, one UK broadsheet even asked: “Is David O Russell a monster?”

Tap “Hollywood feuds” into a search engine, and among the usual titanic Tinseltown tussles like “Joan Crawford vs Bette Davis” (a fabled career-long animosity between the two former Warner Bros stars that got physical while filming What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?) and “Christian Bale vs Shane Hurlbut” (the YouTube-circulated outburst by the former child star against his director of photography on the set of Terminator: Salvation), you’ll also find the more all-encompassing bout, “David O Russell vs Everyone”.

Though not averse to weird psychological warfare to get what he wants from his actors, Russell has gained notoriety for several headline-making incidents.

First, there was a fight with George Clooney during the shooting of Three Kings in the Arizona desert (doubling for Iraq), after the star stepped in to stop Russell’s apparent mistreatment of various crew members. Clooney is reported to have berated his boss, “You can’t shove, push or humiliate people,” and described the incident as the worst experience of his life. Even five years later, the usually sedate Clooney told Premiere magazine that he would “sock Russell in the f***ing mouth” if he ran into him. The director responded in foul-mouthed kind in another interview.

A leaked video of Russell’s equally potty- mouthed shouting match with veteran comic actress Lily Tomlin on the set of all-star “existential comedy” I ♥ Huckabees also circulated on the internet, back in the days before YouTube hit critical mass and such trifles went viral overnight. “We just both had a bad temper fit,” she told Movieline in 2011, long after the pair had kissed and made up.

A piece in the New York Times described how Russell also took off his clothes on set and put director Christopher Nolan in a headlock during a dispute about Jude Law’s availability. Phew! Russell explained away his disrobing as being in line with Tibetan Buddhism, which he studied, to “break the boundaries” with his cast. “I became the crazy Zen priest to promote spontaneity,” he told the Telegraph.

Perhaps the ultimate irony is that on Russell’s subsequent film, The Fighter, there appear to have been no scuffles between the director and the cast during its swift 33-day shoot. (No mean feat considering one of them was the short-fused Bale.)

But don’t be fooled into thinking that Russell is mellowing with middle age (he’s 54). While bringing an incident-free Silver Linings Playbook (still in cinemas) to fruition, he fell out with pal Mark Wahlberg, his longtime producing/acting collaborator, who’d starred in Three Kings, Huckabees and The Fighter. He was also down to star in Silver Linings, but Russell replaced him with Bradley Cooper. If you take the official line, this was due to scheduling conflicts, but according to the Huffington Post it was because Cooper came much cheaper.

As the forgiving Lily Tomlin says: “David is a very mercurial person, and that’s part of why he’s so brilliant.” And he’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.


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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by it's me on Thu Jan 31 2013, 20:45

the usually sedate Clooney

sedate?!?

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by Joanna on Thu Jan 31 2013, 22:27

Our sedate George and Russell, Three Kings

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by fava on Thu Jan 31 2013, 22:55

I thought I had read some much more forgiving comments George made about Russell recently. Can't recall where though--but probably on this forum!

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by party animal - not! on Thu Jan 31 2013, 23:12

Yep, he did. And there are some pix of them somewhere, (maybe on Getty Images) having a chat, at possibly the Golden Globes

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Mon Feb 04 2013, 20:24

I'll just throw this out there.

Notice the people Russell chose to berate and abuse. Women, and men he could pretty much dismiss without cause. He didn't take on Wahlberg physically, or even to his face. Nor did he have any issues with Bale, a man known to have a temper of his own. And I think he assumed that mellow George Clooney wouldn't be a match for him.

Those incidents were the ones we heard about, because they were big productions involving famous people, but they surely weren't the first. You don't start that kind of behavior in your forties; you bring it with you.

My point? I think he's a bully and grown-up brat. He learned to control his abusive outbursts only when they started to negatively affect his livelihood and he was embarrassed among his peers. If he hadn't been clocked by George and his cover blown in the press, he'd still be doing it, IMO.

Liked 'The Fighter,' BTW, and 'Silver Linings Playbook.' But his rewrite of 'Three Kings' eliminated a very relevant racial theme (in the original screenplay, the three main soldiers were black) and minimized the cultural conflict. So that's a good movie that could have been better. Again. IMO.

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by cindigirl on Mon Feb 04 2013, 20:58

I copied an article in Amazon about the Clooney, Russell fight on Three Kings set. I read they made up recently and everything is cool now for them.

"According to George Clooney, he actually did fight David O. Russell on the set of "Three Kings"
In 1999, news spread of David O. Russell and George Clooney nearly having a fistfight on the set of Three Kings. After tensions on the set had been steadily increasing, Clooney confronted Russell with the intention of defending the crew.

According to a 2000 Playboy interview[6] with George Clooney, he got into a fight with Russell on the set of Three Kings because of the way Russell was treating his crew. According to Clooney, Russell was demeaning the crew both verbally and physically. Clooney felt this was out of line and let Russell know by saying:

"David, it's a big day. But you can't shove, push or humiliate people who aren't allowed to defend themselves."

Russell then taunted Clooney by saying:
"Why don't you just worry about your [expletive removed] acting?! You're being a [expletive removed]. You want to hit me? You want to hit me? Come on, [expletive removed], hit me."

Russell then grabbed Clooney by the throat and Clooney "went nuts," pummeling Russell. Russell eventually apologized and filming continued, but Clooney describes the incident as "...the worst experience of my life."

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by OofOof on Mon Feb 04 2013, 23:03

Way2old, I love your posts.

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by fava on Tue Feb 05 2013, 01:08

I agree-- he is a bully and chosese those who can't fight back. Hate that he gets away with it for the most part. I recall he did not want George in the movie and fought against casting him so they were already at odds before the fight. I do think he has to be credited with getting George to get rid of the ER head bobbing though

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Tue Feb 05 2013, 19:33

OofOof wrote:Way2old, I love your posts.


Thank you very much.

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Re: George Clooney and David O Russell

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