« What a pickle | Main | Cheers -- the Russian poetry corner »

March 24, 2007


Alex Epstein

Yeah, might wanna mark that one NOT SAFE FOR WORK.Why is this guy still working?Kudos to the crew for leaving the camera rolling.


So that's why I thought I Heart Huckabees was masturbatory pseudo-intellectual nonsense.Makes sense.

Emily Blake

I liked I Heart Huckabees, mostly 'cuz of Mark Walberg and the dialogue.I'm getting ready to direct my first short film soon, so this is good to see. Note to self: don't constantly change things on set and don't have a meltdown.


I Heart Haughty Hysterics

The Captain

Surround the set with a steel cage, then throw the pickle girl in there with a barrel full of Klossens. Plenty of people would pay $10 to see the chaos unfold on the big screen, and if there was a crying toddler in the theatre, you wouldn't even notice.


It's what we'd all love to do, but mortgage payments, tuition, contracts and other obligations just don't allow it. We all have pressures. How we handle it defines "class."My favorite line came from Ken, some months ago:"Money and power make you more of who you are."Woof.

Nonchalant Savant

I'd like to buy a new adjective, Pat. These are CREATIVE people?


wow. that was uncomfortable.

Peregrine Beckman

Well, Russell has made 4 of the most interesting and different films of the last 20 years. I think "Flirting with Disaster" is the only film in recent memory that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Preston Sturges. You gotta give the guy credit given the usual torrent of crap Hollywood produces.That said, he'd probably get to make more pictures if he didn't have episodes like this.Mr. Levine, you should also link to the other youtube clip in this series, the one in which Lily looks far less reasonable. (Lily is also a genius in her own right) She tells Dustin Hoffman to shut up and generally comes across as most difficult to work with.Shout out to Alex Epstein. Pern here.


yeah I saw that second clip too. doesn't exucse russell but I didn't appreciate the one ringy dingy lady telling hoffman to shut up.mark


There was a NY Times article about this, a few years ago. They try to spin this as if Russell does this on purpose to get better performances. I kind of doubt it.


To quote Carla Tortelli, "Pillow talk."


I must admit, I love the meltdown. They tickle me to no end. Am I alone on this? Why are they so magical? In this one, I particularly like the moment when he clears the desk of the papers, the king of meltdown cliches. That'll show the prop girl!


Yeah. I saw some stuff saying he does it on purpose.I dunno.The car scene with Lily Thomlin makes me feel bad for Dustin Hoffman.You can't write better comedy though.David O. throwing a fit. Walks offscreen towards the audience. They talk back and forth. A pretty close eyeline to the camera. He tosses something at her.We HEAR David O. ranting and raving. Calling her names. And then he enters from the door ON SET with the line: "You're an F@$#ing grown-up. Act like a grown up. You're not a baby."And the best part... the camera operator pans with his entrance. Too funny.


No, Russell's way way overrated except for that Pickle Girl short film. Oh, wait. That was from Maury.Strike that last part.

D. McEwan

Lily is a genius who has forgotten more about comedy than most people ever know. My best friend's lover worked with her for two years on "Murphy Brown" and they ended up becoming good friends. She was considerate, thoughtful, hard-working, generous, joyful, and endlessly creative. I think I will treasure this dork SCREAMING at her to behave like a grown-up as he is behaves like a particularly spoiled two year old.

D. McEwan

And I don't know what provocation Dustin may have provided Lily in the other clip. Sometimes stars, even great actors well ...A close friend of mine who will remain nameless had a major supporting role in a film with Al Pacino about 15 years ago. She got on with him just fine, but I remember her coming home after a day on the set, complaining about Al, "You'd think that for $7,000,000, he could at least learn his damn lines."


I did fringe theatre in Chicago for 15 years and never once saw an amatuer behave that way. I'm telling you, it's the professionals who throw hissy fits.


Emily Blake said... I liked I Heart Huckabees, mostly 'cuz of Mark Walberg and the dialogue.I liked it for the dialogue, but mostly for Naomi Watts in a swimsuit.


"Money and power make you more of who you are."Definitely a good one - very true. Another good one, from a friend of mine who began as Robin's high school girlfriend on the old Batman TV show, and has a list of acting, writing and producing credits that runs clear up her arm, so she knows whereof she speaks:"Hollywood is a character test. To see if you have any."Rusell's not the only overblown 20-nothing asshole throwing fits like this. I had one tell me to "grow up!" one day (he was a couple years younger than my youngest son), I looked at him and said, "sure, sonny boy. Now go to your room and skip dinner." Being a "genius" graduate of the University of Spoiled Children, no one had ever spoken to him that way before. He was sucking air to keep from falling over as I left the project. Sometimes quitting feels soooooooooo good.It kills these little schmucks when the smartest person in the room is someone who brings up all their unresolved spoiled-brat-growing-up issues. Which is why there is age discrimination in Hollywood (even when you have as much talent as Lily Tomlin).And Lily's not the first person to think of Dustin Hoffman as an overblown moron. I remember back about 20-odd years ago being in the old Aero Theater in Santa Monica watching a movie, and there was this loud asshole in back making fun of the movie and making existence miserable for everyone else in the theater. Finally I walked up to where he was sitting and it was Dustin Hoffman. I looked down at him and told him to STFU. He got all huffy and stood up (he didn't come to my shoulder) and said "Do you know who I am?" and challenged me to a fight. I looked at him and said "I don't fight midgets" and turned away. He started shrieking and in the end the management had to come in the theater and eject him.Fortunately the theater was dark, so he never knew who I was. But these oveblown little assholes, be they a brat like David O. Russel or a half-wit when off the set like Hoffman, need to be called on their crap, since the rest of their day everyone's too eager to fellate them in public and swear it tastes good.

Rory L. Aronsky

I always figured Hollywood was a dysfunctional land of make believe, but this just makes me feel better: Hollywood's as fucked up as the rest of us. ;)

Rory L. Aronsky

And I know that there are literally thousands of examples of Hollywood being Hollywood throughout history, but this one's more immediate, right there, and nakedly revealing (I hate "ly," since I'm sick of how much critics abuse it, but it's all I can think of right now).


Don't sets cost money?I can't imagine the film's producers being all that pleased about having their director destroy parts of a set.


didn't Clooney punch David O. in the face during the shooting of Three Kings? Most likely because he deserved it?


tcinla -In Hoffman's defense, he was merely acting as a peace maker when Tomlin told him to shut up, or more correctly to STFU.The best response to the "Do you know who I am?" line was from my manager at a New England clam shack. He simply replied, Yes, you're the asshole who refuses to wait in line."

The comments to this entry are closed.


    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
Powered by TypePad