David O. Russell Strikes Again: James Caan Walks Off Set of Nailed


For years there were rumours that director David O. Russell was extremely difficult to work with (George Clooney reportedly got into a fist fight with him on the set of Three Kings), but it wasn’t until a video turned up online of him screaming at Lily Tomlin on the set of I Heart Huckabees that people finally saw what a nutcase the man truly was. Fortunately for Russell, people are still willing to put aside his tantrums to work with him simply because he is such a gifted filmmaker, but at the rate he’s going, soon there won’t be any actors left in Hollywood that he hasn’t alienated.

Word on the street is that David O. Russell was up to his usual high-strung antics while shooting his latest movie, a political comedy called Nailed. The problem is that one of the actors in the film is tough guy James Caan, and he was not going to take any shit from some hot shot director. Caan actually walked off the set in the middle of filming and officially resigned from the project the next day. Nice!

According to JoBlo, Caan’s publicist has confirmed this with the following statement: “James Caan did amicably part ways with this production due to creative differences”. Amicably? Of course he did. You have to wonder how long Russell will be able to get away with this kind of behaviour for. Perhaps he should look into some anger management classes?

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  • David O. Russell certainly seems to be a dick– but I’ve heard James Caan is also tough to get along with, so who knows what happened here.

    Russell may just need to have his ass kicked– that would probably straighten him out.

  • I can’t believe this post didn’t attract more comments.

    I’ll reiterate– David O. Russell is a douche.

  • Matt

    Lily Tomlin didn’t seem that “amicable” in that Huckabees clip online. But then again, a director who gets into sooo many altercations has got to be doing something wrong. Although I REALLY liked Three Kings, so he’s doing something right too.

  • Doug

    Let’s see…

    James Caan has a reputation for being not only difficult, but nearly impossible; I think his former wives and girlfriends–some of whom pressed charges against him for beatings and abuse–might know a bit about this. Coke, alcohol, hubris, and intractability (get out your fucking dictionary if you don’t know that one) have been been associated with him in Hollywood for most of his career. He retired, but he ran out of money, and had to go back to work. Yes, he’s a wonderfully talented actor–but he’s an actor– and if you don’t know any actors, or are caught up in the rarefied mist of actor-as-personality, then good luck; I’ve worked on many films, and the actors, particularly the “known” actors, are not only difficult, their behavior borders on the ridiculous. James Caan? David Russell? I cast my lot with the Director….

    Lily Tomlin is not Amicable; she’s another difficult talent. I love her; she’s part of my cultural history, but to assume that you know her, or that she is somehow easy to work with, is ridiculous.

    I think these “Tell All” videos show more about the difficulty of working with “Name” actors than reflecting any failings on the Director’s behalf.

    In fact, I’d like to see a video of David O. Russell kicking James Caan’s ass–and I’d certainly pay money to see him taking George Clooney to the pavement; I don’t think anyone’s considered the other side–Russell as junior high school Principal trying to keep millions of dollars afloat for himself and his investors–have you ever been in that situation?

    Didn’t think so…

    When I worked on film, the trailers for “Name” actors said “Talent”: one of the former Charlie’s Angels was so upset by this–upset that her specific name wasn’t on the trailer–that she threw her evening meal–a dinner of specially-prepared vegetarian delights–at me. I wore it, as a crew member, for the entire evening. She, by the way, was know for being a “really nice lady.” A classy lady, a real gem.

    Our point of view is determined by actors, since
    they ultimately end up on screen; but what if they’re mostly yahoo’s, with no understanding of deadlines, budgets, administration, or politics? They’re just concerned about their moment, and the rest is someone else’s problem…

    Well, that problem falls to the director; he carries untold pressures on his back. I think the world of David O. Russell; James Caan? Lily Tomlin? George Clooney? You’ve got to be kidding me…. Everyone here need to grow up, or get in the movie business…

  • James


    Are you David O. Russell? Or are you a wannabe movie director with no respect for actors or the other people working on a film? Maybe you just have a mancrush on him? I’ve actually worked on a film with George Clooney and he was a very classy human being, treating everyone else on the set with complete respect the entire time. Read all of the stories on Russell. He’s a complete goon and if anything, he should have HIS ass kicked one day. It is my hope that he will make the mistake of picking on someone with a bigger anger problem than him, and that said person will kick his ass and teach him a valuable lesson.
    You are obviously enamored with Mr. Russell and that’s fine. But he starts fights with Clooney, Caan, and Tomlin, as well as Christopher Nolan at a party (over “stealing” Jude Law from his film), and you think that it is just everyone else “forcing” the poor director to act like this? He put Chris Nolan in a headlock at a party! The guy is a mental case and should really pull his head out of his ass. I’ll give the same advice to you as well.

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  • Nick

    I’ve worked with Lily Tomlin and she is a nightmare. I can understand how directors lose it when celebrities can be so crazy and difficult to work with.

  • VRT

    Gifted? Talented? Is that like Seinfeld’s “breathtaking”? David O. Russell is a plain old angry douche who’s made two movies.

  • Douche

    He’s a dooch. A total dooch

  • Jimbo

    I’d like to see a video of David O. Russell kicking James Caan’s ass

    That would only happen in a cartoon. In real life, Russell would be toast.