David O Russell Biography, Age, Next Film, Joy, I ♥ Huckabees, Movies

David O Russell Biography

David O Russell (David Owen Russell) is an American film director, producer, and screen writer. David’s early directing career includes the comedy films Spanking the Monkey (1994), Flirting with Disaster (1996), Three Kings (1999), and also I ♥ Huckabees (2004).

He is also an advocate for mental illness treatment and support, and also an active supporter of Autism research. His efforts saw him named the “Essential Puzzle Piece honoree” by the Light Up the Night Gala for Autism.

Three of his more recent films, – the biographical sports drama The Fighter (2010), the romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and also the comedy-drama crime film American Hustle (2013) were commercially successful and also acclaimed by critics.
The films earned him three Academy Award nominations for Best Director, as well as a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for Silver Linings Playbook and also a Best Original Screenplay nomination for American Hustle.

David O Russell Age

David Owen Russell was born on August 20, 1958 in New York City, New York, U.S. He is 60 years old as of 2018.

David O Russell

David O Russell

David O Russell Family

Rusell was born to Maria (née Muzio) and Bernard (Markovski) Russell. His parents then worked for Simon & Schuster; his father being the vice president of sales for the company. Russell was from a Russian Jewish family and his mother was Italian American (of Lucanian descent). His maternal grandparents were Frank Muzio, born in Craco, and Philomena Brancata, born in Ferrandina, both in the province of Matera. Russell’s paternal grandfather who was a butcher from the Upper West Side of Manhattan, lost many of his relatives in concentration camps.

He was raised in Larchmont, New York, in an atheist, middle-class household. Russell made his first film for a school project and used a Super 8 film camera to film people in New York City.

David O Russell Education

David attended Mamaroneck High School and there he was voted “Class Rebel”. He then fell in love with film in his teens (his favorite movies included Taxi Driver, Chinatown, and Shampoo) but then aspired to become a writer; he started a newspaper in high school and wrote short stories. David’s parents worked for a publishing company hence growing up in a household filled with books and novels.

David received his A.B. degree from Amherst College, where he then majored in English and political science, in 1981. He also wrote his senior thesis on the United States intervention in Chile from 1963 to 1973.

David O Russell Wife

He got married to Janet Grillo. She was a producer at Fine Line Features, from 1992 to 2007. Since 2007, he has been with his partner Holly Davis who is a costume designer. David resides in Santa Monica with his family.

Russell has two children: one with Grillo and an adopted son with Davis.

David O Russell Career

After he graduated from Amherst, David traveled to Nicaragua and taught in a Sandinista literacy program. He then worked manual labor jobs, including waitering, bartending, and catering. Some of David’s bartending colleagues included members of the Blue Man Group. He also worked for a booksellers’ association and then later became a community organizer in Maine. David used video equipment to document slums and bad housing conditions, which then later became a documentary of Lewiston, Maine. He was a political activist and canvassed and also raised money in neighborhoods. David also did community work in Boston’s South End. This is in addition to working in several day jobs, he then began to write short films.

Director David O Russell

David directed a documentary about Panamanian immigrants in Boston, which then led to a job as a production assistant on a PBS series called Smithsonian World.

He wrote, produced, and also directed Bingo Inferno: A Parody on American Obsessions, a short film about an obsessive bingo-playing mother in 1987. Two years later, Rusell made another short titled Hairway to the Stars, which then featured Bette Davis and William Hickey. Both the shorts were shown at the Sundance Film Festival.

David O Russell I ♥ Huckabees

His next project was the existential comedy I ♥ Huckabees.

David O Russell Lily Tomlin

He had conflicts with Lily Tomlin during its filming, and in March 2007, two videos were leaked onto YouTube portraying on-set arguments between the two, in which among other things he called her sexist names.The abusive tirades by Russell were first reported in a 2004 The New York Times article by Sharon Waxman in which she then describes him calling Tomlin “…the crudest word imaginable, in front of the actors and crew.”

David O Russell Amy Adams

David had a project American Hustle (2013). Which is a comedy based on the ABSCAM scandal of the 1970s. The plot of the film revolved around skilled con artists Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) being forced to work for unhinged FBI Agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). Then their complicated operation eventually involves Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) of Camden, New Jersey, as well as Irving’s unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence). It also reunited Russell with Bale and Adams after The Fighter, and also with Cooper, Lawrence, and De Niro after Silver Linings Playbook. Saïd Taghmaoui, the Iraqi captain from Three Kings, also makes an appearance.

According to Salon, in the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, it was revealed that David made “Amy Adams’ life a living hell” during the production of the film, and then Christian Bale intervened.
The film then received seven Golden Globe nominations, which include Best Motion Picture Comedy & Best Director for Russell, and also three wins including Best Motion Picture Comedy, Best Actress for Amy Adams and Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence. Additionally, the film then received ten Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, along with a Screen Actors Guild Award win for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

David O Russell New Film | David O Russell New Movie

Past Forward – 2016

David O Russell Net Worth

The film producer has an estimated net worth of $40 million.

David O. Russell Films



Credited as





Bingo Inferno: A Parody on American Obsessions





Hairway to the Stars



Spanking the Monkey





Flirting with Disaster




Three Kings








The Slaughter Rule


Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy



I ♥ Huckabees




Soldiers Pay




The Fighter



Silver Linings Playbook




American Hustle




Accidental Love








Past Forward




David O Russell TV Shows

  • Outer Space Astronauts – 2009
  • Gossip Girl – 2011

Jennifer Lawrence David O Russell | David O Russell Jennifer Lawrence

David O. Russell Twitter

David O Russell Interview

Published: December 13, 2013

Source: www.interviewmagazine.com

LOUIS C.K.: Can I ask you why this movie is called American Hustle?

DAVID O RUSELL: Because everybody in the movie is hustling. They’re hustling in a couple of senses: either in trying to get by and make something happen in a conning way, or in how we all kind of somehow have to use white lies or emotional stories that we tell ourselves to get through our everyday lives. I feel like everything is a form of storytelling. You can tell yourself a story about your marriage or your relationship, and it can be that story. But then, on a certain day, for whatever reason, that story stops cutting it, so you have to make up a new one. That’s happening in the relationships in the movie, the love affairs, as well.

C.K.: But do you take part in the hustling? Do you hustle yourself or hustle other people? Are you a hustler?

DAVID O RUSELL: Well, I think that everybody does that in order to survive. That doesn’t mean lying—it’s more about how you handle situations.

C.K.: When in your life do you find yourself hustling?

DAVID O RUSELL: On a daily basis? I think sometimes you have to handle things delicately at work or at home. You know, you can find yourself in situations that are like opening a closet filled with bowling balls that are going to fall out of it, but if you handle things graciously, then that’s not going to happen. What about you? When are you hustling?

C.K.: Wait a minute—you still haven’t answered my question. You keep abstracting it and projecting it. Give me a situation in your life where you have actually had to hustle. Is there anywhere in your life where you feel that you hustle? You, David—specifically. When have you hustled?

DAVID O RUSELL: I can’t give you broad answers on this?

C.K.: Well … No. Try starting the sentence “I” instead of “you.”

DAVID O RUSELL: I guess, in one sense, the kind of hustling I do is like in Silver Linings Playbook, where the character says, “If you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining.” That is a story he is telling himself, and he’s hustling himself for good. He can tell himself a negative story, but it would destroy his life. So every day, when my feet hit the ground, I have a story that I’m telling myself that I choose to make a positive story. I know people who don’t do that, and there’s a heavy energy around them. So I guess there’s that kind of hustling. And then also there’s my son, who is helping to write his own narrative every day. But in terms of more con-type hustling, no, I can’t say that I really do much of that during my day. You know, I was talking to my dad about what happened to his business in the ’70s, because I have a great affection for that era and we were always big fans of his. He worked at Simon & Schuster from the time he was 18. He was in their stock room, and then he became a salesman and, eventually, a sales executive. And then, in the ’70s, there was something that happened where this whole group of guys that he was a part of got pushed out, and another group of what I would say were more crafty guys got in. When that happened, it rocked our house—and it was very educational for me. So I can completely identify with the fact that Christian Bale’s character, Irving, in American Hustle feels the way that he does about his dad. Irving says his dad was honest to a fault, and that his dad maybe got taken advantage of. So I understand that feeling. And then I also understand his father’s feeling of, “You should stay on the straight and narrow.” That’s where a lot of this personally comes from.

C.K.: And the first thing that Irving identifies as a driving force in his life is what happened to his father.

DAVID O RUSELL: Yes, that’s right. I mean, some of our movie is based in truth and some of it is fictionalized—I would say that a lot of it is fictionalized. One thing that is true is that the guy who part of the film is based on, his dad did run a glass business in the Bronx, and this guy did feel that it was hard for businesses to survive if they didn’t resort to certain practices.

C.K.: That’s interesting to me because in talking about what it means to hustle and to survive, all of the examples that we’re discussing seem to start with somebody else. Christian Bale’s character loves his dad, his dad gets screwed, and that changes the way he approaches life. You talk about your son, you talk about your dad. It’s like hustling is not a completely selfish thing—that the reason why you hustle can be connected to your feelings about someone you’re close to and how that motivates you. When did the story that you tell in this movie become one that you felt you had to tell?

DAVID O RUSELL: Well, I’ve wanted to tell a story set in this period for many years, and I’ve written some scripts set in this period that were never produced. But then a few years ago, I started speaking to the writer Eric Singer, who wrote the first draft of the script for DAVID O RUSELL: American Hustle that I eventually rewrote. So I would say that it was around then that this specific story became one that I wanted to do. But I remember very well the period when all the stuff that happens in the movie went down, and I remember a lot of the music and a lot of the feelings that were in the air at that moment, so I started rewriting the script, really, coming off of The Fighter and Silver Linings. I was inspired by what we had done with the characters in those films, and that is what first attracted me to this story. The Fighter or Silver Linings were about the people first and foremost, and so with this one, I wanted to create a character that I knew was going to be like napalm for Christian Bale—one that I knew would be hard for him to resist because it was going to be such a great character. And then I also knew that Bradley [Cooper] was going to be interested in playing a transformational character like the one that he does in this movie, which I think is a big step for him—he’s playing an agent, but he’s a guy from the outer boroughs, and it’s a very specific character that he hasn’t played before. It turns me on to think of every actor playing people they’ve never played before. I love the idea of getting Christian to be soulful and funny as well as intense. I love the idea of getting Amy Adams to be hot and sort of mastermind-ish as well as really emotional. I love the idea of seeing Bradley become an almost kind of intense bad guy but a very complicated one with a lot of heart. And then you see Jennifer Lawrence as a housewife on Long Island, young and unhinged, but in an inspired way—you’ve never seen her that way before. And then [Jeremy] Renner as this New Jersey guy, a mayor with a big Italian family who loves his community … There was a recession then, just like there is now, so everybody was trying to be creative in trying to make something happen …

C.K.: Do you think Renner’s character is hustling?

DAVID O RUSELL: Absolutely. I think someone who is trying to take care of a community hustles every day. His character has a community that was turned into kind of a ghetto during the ’60s and the ’70s, and he loves it passionately so he’s trying to generate income for it. He wants to get investments from wherever he can—even if that means that he has to do some things that he considers the cost of doing business, which I think happens today on a grand scale of hundreds of millions of dollars. But I think back then, it was almost quaint that it was happening on this smaller scale. He was just trying to get some investments going, but this guy was also a state senate member and one of the people who pushed to make gambling legal in Atlantic City. He wanted to rebuild the city, to renovate these beautiful old hotels, which would put a lot of people back to work. These people are a bunch of dreamers—and I love dreamers.

C.K.: This movie takes place near the end of the ’70s, like, right before the U.S. won that hockey game against the Soviets. I remember that everyone I knew back then worked in fast food or something, and then a step up from that was working for the city paving roads or something that was also dead-end, and everybody just wanted somehow to get to some other level where they’d have more control over their lives. I do remember the word hustle being used a lot at the time, but it wasn’t a negative. It wasn’t about lying. You admired somebody for hustling back then—it was a virtue, like in sports, “That guy really hustles …”

DAVID O RUSELL: Like Pete Rose—Charlie Hustle. Unfortunately, that name did take on a different meaning for him later. [laughs] But before he got into any trouble, it just meant that he was a guy who would dive into a base headfirst and would do anything to stay alive. That’s what everybody is doing in this movie.

C.K.: Hustle always means doing more, going further than what your job is supposed to be and what you’re given to do. People hustle for their families, for people around them, for their communities in the way that the Renner character does. So hustle also sometimes means adding facts to your reality that aren’t there—and sometimes doing things like taking money that’s not really yours and things like that.

DAVID O RUSELL:Yes, exactly.

C.K.: You were saying that the actors in this film are all playing characters they’ve never played before, and one thing that you do become aware of a few times in the movie—in a great way—is that everyone is pretending to be somebody else. In other words, they’re all acting in three layers. Christian Bale is pretending to be a guy who is pretending to be a guy. Amy Adams is pretending to be a woman who is pretending to be someone else. So the people we’re watching in the movie are like second-layer people, and there are other people underneath that we’re not seeing in the movie except for in certain places.

DAVID O RUSELL: What I also like is that people are deciding who to present themselves to be in love affairs as well, so it isn’t just about commerce. Christian’s and Amy’s characters are very much in love, but Christian is dealing with a complicated relationship with Jennifer, and then Bradley Cooper starts to fall for Amy’s character. So it starts to get complicated. It’s a sexy time.

C.K.: Christian’s character and Amy’s character, Sydney, are supposed to be in love. But are they actually in love? Or are they people who are trying to become in love?

DAVID O RUSELL: That is an interesting question. That is probably the most interesting question that anybody can ask at any time. I think that most relationships have both of those things going on. There’s the you that you want to be or can be with the other person, and there’s the you that you just are all the time.

C.K.: You almost want to say to the person you’re in a relationship with, “The person who I’m pretending to be loves the person you’re pretending to be.”

DAVID O RUSELL: It’s a moving target because it keeps changing.

C.K.: And then Bradley’s character, Richie DiMaso, forces them to hustle into a whole other league of pretending.

DAVID O RUSELL: Speaking of going to another level, I thought you fit in nicely with all these people as this sort of Midwestern ice-fishing boss of Richie.

C.K.: Well, when you and I first talked about this, you told me the sort of world of it and who I was playing and how he fit in, and my feeling was that this guy was the only person who was not having these problems that the other characters were having. My guy doesn’t have layers. He doesn’t have to figure out how much of himself to use or how to call another person out. He just does what he’s supposed to do. It’s interesting because I was watching the movie while my kids were doing their homework, and when it was over, I said, “I’m so relieved that I don’t break laws. I’m grateful that I don’t have to worry about the shit that these people in the movie are wrestling with.” That’s probably why I had a good time playing that guy—I think he felt that way, too. It’s like, “You people are nuts. You’re not supposed to be doing any of these things that you’re doing. None of this is okay. You’re supposed to be yourself, be honest, follow the law, and take less out of life.”

DAVID O RUSELL: Take less out of life?

C.K.: Yeah. You’re not supposed to become something else so you can get more. You’re supposed to stay you and get through as yourself, because at least then you can count on that, and you don’t have to ask yourself who you are half the time. So my guy was a lot simpler to play. It was good playing with Bradley because he is so unhinged and laser-like and passionate, and it’s really fun to be somebody’s roadblock. He’s burning in every scene, and I’m simply saying, “No, you can’t do this”—it’s making him crazy. It was fun to be the tool that drove him to distraction that way. Because I’m a comedian who sometimes tries to act—that’s what it would say on my business card—the thing that’s interesting about doing movies like this one is that these are real actors, so it’s like getting to watch a movie up close. You feel like you’re really in the scenes. I would forget that this was Bradley Cooper or Christian Bale. I was completely in the scenes with these people because they’re just so good. I’ve never done this before, but I did steal one thing. In the scene where Bradley and I are yelling at each other, and he says, “I’m going to call your brother,” and I go, “He’s dead,” I definitely stole that from Robert De Niro in that movie about the blacklist.

DAVID O RUSELL: Guilty by Suspicion [1991], the Irwin Winkler movie?

C.K.: Yeah. There’s a scene in that movie where he’s in a congressional hearing and they go, “Oh, you knew this woman was a Communist?” and De Niro’s character goes, “She’s dead.” It’s also how he says “dead” in The Untouchables [1987]. It’s the way that he says “dead” that I stole.

DAVID O RUSELL: I had no clue. Did you meet Bob when he was on set?

C.K.: No, I was never anywhere near him. He, by the way, is terrifying in this movie. He’s a really upsetting character.

DAVID O RUSELL: I like that Bob shows up in the movie. It’s interesting to try to make him terrifying in a new way.