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David O. Russell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (9) | Personal Quotes (13)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 20 August 1958New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameDavid Owen Russell
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

David O. Russell was born on August 20, 1958 in New York City, New York, USA as David Owen Russell. He is a producer and director, known for Silver Linings Playbook (2012), American Hustle (2013) and Three Kings (1999). He was previously married to Janet Grillo.

Spouse (1)

Janet Grillo (1992 - 2007) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (3)

Handheld camera movement
Ensemble casting
Frequently casts Mark Wahlberg

Trivia (9)

Honored at Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art in April 2002 by guests such as Lily Tomlin, Mark Wahlberg and Sandra Bernhard. Ironic site for tribute, since Russell once served as a waiter at parties there, to the likes of Martin Scorsese.
Graduated from Amherst College 1981, majoring in English and Political Science.
Former Son-in-law of Angela Grillo
Was member of the dramatic jury at the Sundance Film Festival in 2003.
Went to Mamaroneck High School in Mamaroneck, New York with Bennett Miller and Dan Futterman.
Father of actor Matthew Antonio Grillo Russell with producer/actress Janet Grillo.
Directed 7 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Christian Bale (twice), Amy Adams (twice), Melissa Leo, Bradley Cooper (twice), Jennifer Lawrence (twice), Robert De Niro, and Jacki Weaver. Bale and Leo won Oscars for their performances in The Fighter (2010); Lawrence won for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook (2012).
His father was of Russian Jewish descent and his mother was of Italian ancestry.
The only director to helm two consecutively-released films (Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and American Hustle (2013)) that were nominated for Academy Awards in all acting categories.

Personal Quotes (13)

There's nothing better than an actor who is really, really hungry to show everything they've got.
It's imperative for me to tell everybody that this is personal, it means a lot to me. You have to impart how much it means to you in a personal way, which will bring everybody into it, and get you closer to working with that horse, whether that's a Steadicam operator or an actor. That's the thing I'm most proud of. You know, ironically given how you can get tagged, exaggerated from one or two past incidents, is that I'm most proud of being in sync and feeling like a family with the crew ...and having everybody being willing to go through fire for this vision. That's a wonderful thing. It's a little sad when it ends.

... That's why I start every day in the van. I have a van, like the van that they drove me to the set in, and I want the actors, I want the head of every department to come with me in the van at the very first moment I arrive there, and let's talk about what the day is, so that everybody has a very intimate feeling of what we're doing. Because the movie's not out there on the set with all those extras trying to look at the camera. You can get out there, and the energy's very dissipated, and it's very chaotic and the whole thing can be misdirected, the energy. And you want everyone to be feeling what you feel in your heart.
[on directing Amy Adams in "American Hustle'] I just really wanted to challenge her. I wanted her to do a role that was as strong as the guy parts, and more cunning in certain respects. Appetite has a lot to do with it. And she has an enormous appetite. It's almost athletic. She rises to the challenge...I have a musical idea that I would like to discuss with her.
I make every movie and scene as if it could be my last.
People go to the movies because they want a full experience. If you're not gonna give it to them with guns or bombs, you've gotta give it to them with human opera.
I don't think you should ever 'send a message'... I'm more interested in the people.
Strong women are, to me, the secret to great cinema.
[when a German journalist at Berlinale asks him how he made Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence win Oscars] I would never say that I made these guys win anything. I would say that it was my privilege to aspire and to create a predicament that is twisted and human and allows them to have roles that will show as much behavior and emotion as possible. That's my goal. I want to deliver that to them. It's my job. To create a role that is vast and complicated and emotional...
I personally have had two phases of my filmmaking career. I was here [Berlinale] with Three Kings (1999) in 1999 and then I decided 'let's make a metaphysical film.' Which did okay. It didn't succeed like I wanted it to. And then I met Darren Aronofsky after he made The Wrestler (2008). I said 'what happened, you're doing so good.' He said 'I got my head out of my ass.' And that can happen to anybody. Your head can go up your ass because you're afraid of failure or there's pressure the more movies you make. So I kind of lost my way as a storyteller.
[on the acting atmosphere on his sets] It's like doing drugs. [Christian Bale has] described it like a waking dream. That's why I don't like to call 'cut.' Because once we get going, it's like you're in a dream. Or Jennifer has described it as like being high. And I don't want to interrupt that. Something is happening where everybody is over in that other world. [2014]
I think any spiritual experience that's worthwhile is not about ego and it will humble you in some way. And also, a Zen monk once said to me, 'If you're not laughing, then you're not getting it.'
Anything you could ever want or be you already have and are.
I just love real characters; they're not pretentious, and every emotion is on the surface, they're regular working people. Their likes, their dislikes, their loves, their hates, their passions; they're all right there on the surface.

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