Thursday, April 5, 2007

An Actor's Life for Me--NOT!

Take a look at this video, surreptitiously taped on the set of I Heart Huckabees, of Lily Tomlin and director David O. Russell in full bore flame-out at each other's throats.  Warning: extremely foul language.  The invective drips through the internet and into your ears.  Here is such poison, such hatred, such bile.  Can you possibly imagine this kind of behavior in any other work environment (other than John Bolton's offices, perhaps?)  This is why I gave up theater.  While lawyers are just as difficult as actors, they are nowhere near as pampered, spoiled or bratty.  This reflects very poorly on Ms. Tomlin.  Russell may not be an "actor's director" (his Three Kings is brrrilliant), but she's obviously not doing her job.  Her fans, many of whom have left comments on the You Tube site, cheer her on for her assertiveness, but the truth of the matter is that she's being completely unprofessional.  Rather than finding a way to play the scene, she resists every step of the way until the director explodes in anger as her resistence is clearly calculated to make him do.  This was definitely Edith-Ann's evil twin.

Sorry, I LOVE Lily Tomlin--and though I've rarely had to deal with anyone this tempermental, I would have walked off this set and never returned.  Life is simply too short. 

The problem is, at this level, the people I work for--Lawyers--quickly get involved.  With millions riding on films you don't have the luxury of picking and choosing who you work for and with.  No wonder people in Hollywood are all drunks, addicts and sex fiends.  I am so grateful to be done with this life!

1 comment:

stwill61 said...

This behind-the-scenes-at-the-sausage-factory peek feels almost voyeuristic.  Your analysis intrigues me.  I'm not arguing -- I watched the video first without reading your commentary, and I was shocked at how the director reacted.  I knew Tomlin was being resistant, but it seemed like this must have been the culmination of some extended disagreement.  To see that you felt she was in the wrong made me look at the whole scene differently.  I still don't think Russell was justified in his reaction, but I can see he was justified in reacting.  

I'm glad I'm not an actor.  And I can certainly see why some cliques of actors/directors perform together -- they probably know when they work well together, and hear of situations like this one and say "You know, we get along well, and we do good work together.  Let's do it again."