It’s been well-chronicled that Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees director David O. Russell has some ‘tude. In this video you can see a very agitated Lily Tomlin pushing Russell’s buttons, prompting him to call her names my mother can only rhyme (i.e. “punt” and “itch”) and storm off set. Hollywood Reporter informs us of another such instance, except instead of Russell bailing, it was veteran actor James Caan.
Caan, who stars alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Biel, and Catherine Keener, was on the set of Russell’s Nailed when the two got into a trivial debate about whether or not one can cough whilst choking on a cookie. The director insisted on shooting it with a cough, Caan posited that a person choking would not be able to cough (probably because coughing would indicate that there is air in your lungs). Russell suggested they try both takes, but Caan felt that his idea was not being taken seriously. Caan stormed off set and his part has since been given to someone else. After all, the part was only a two-day shoot, so I’m guessing the part’s relevance is not that great.
Caan’s spokesman cited “creative differences” as the reason for his leaving the set.
To borrow from Kevin Carr if I may . . . what the fuck?
Who cares about a cookie? You know that phrase “don’t cry over spilled milk”—well this is even sadder because it involves a “chewed cookie.”
Yes. It’s true someone who’s choking can’t cough. In fact, coughing is the best defense against choking—it’s your body’s way of rejecting what’s coming down your esophagus.
So even though Caan is technically right, there’s no reason for him to be a little bitch about it and storm off set. “Creative difference” should come from something that, I don’t know, has creative merit! This is trivial nonsense that probably has little or nothing to do with the plot or the story. I mean, imagine if someone took out their Stephen Hawking books and watched Back to the Future. Their fucking heads would explode!
Besides, Nailed is a comedy, a satire on the state of health-care in this country. It’s not a Michael Moore documentary.* If your friend leans over and says “he can’t cough when he’s choking” while you watch the film you turn to them and say “shut your goddamn mouth, I’m watching David O. Russell’s latest cinematic masterpiece. Go take your Discovery Channel, attention-to-detail seeking ass out to the lobby and get me a refill on this Mountain Dew.” This is just another instance of an actor being a prima donna, and Russell has to be glad to be dealing with one less.
James Caan, you realize that when you were gunned down in the first Godfather we could still see you breathing right? How come you didn’t insist on being medically accurate then, you anal-retentive douche?
— Jesus H. Christ
* Yes, Republicans, the irony in that sentence is intended.