David O. Russell is known for being a pretty intense director both when the cameras are rolling, and when they’re not. On the set of “I Heart Huckabees,” he famously tore into Lily Tomlin, who was having known of it, and during the making of “American Hustle,” Amy Adams told GQ he made her cry during “most days.” While “Silver Linings Playbook” supporting star Julia Stiles hasn’t revealed quite so severe an experience, she did open up to the AV Club about her time on the set, Russell’s “jarring” directing style, and the fact that he “constantly talks throughout your take,” to irritating but disarming effect. (Via The Playlist.)
“I don’t really want to get into David O. Russell as a director, but I learned a lot about acting, for better or worse, in terms of how he treats people on set. I’m not condoning that, but I learned a lot from him because he constantly talks throughout your take,” Stiles said. “He’s talking at you while you’re acting or trying to act. It’s very jarring, but it got me out of my own head. I had no time to censor myself or be really self-conscious because he’s barking at you and you have to obey or listen.”
Stiles added, “As jarring as it is, it got me to not think so much as an actress, I guess. It got me out of my own head.”
Everyone has a story about David O. Russell, for better or worse. At an AFI Fest Q&A following a revival screening of “Flirting with Disaster” back in 2016, Tomlin and Russell shared the stage affectionately, and appeared to have buried the hatchet, despite the widely circulated footage of him calling her a “c**t” and throwing a fit.
Russell’s yet-to-be-titled next film is stirring up a starry cast including John David Washington, Margot Robbie, Michael B. Jordan, and Christian Bale (who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Russell’s “The Fighter”). Filming is supposed to kick off in January. Russell’s last film to be released was in 2015: “Joy” starred his “American Hustle” and “Silver Linings Playbook” muse Jennifer Lawrence.