Years ago, video of David O. Russell berating Lily Tomlin on the set of 2004’s I Heart Huckabees went viral, dinging his reputation and painting him as cruel taskmaster. The film bombed, but eventually, both publicly said how much they respect each other—a sentiment Tomlin repeated in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where she reveals that she and Russell “made up in just a few hours”—before having a “second fracas.”
“By then, I was like stoic in my suffering,” Tomlin said. “But we’ve overcome it. It dissipates and it’s gone.”
Tomlin previously commented on their arguments, including for a 2011 Movieline interview where she called it “nothing.” “We don’t want to misbehave; believe me, it’s embarrassing. It’s humiliating, you know?” she said. “Because you just lose it. You act like a crazy person. But I adore David. I adore him as a talent.”
She went on to say that whenever friends assume she wouldn’t work with him again, she responds, “‘Of course I would!’ I adore him, I love him,” she said. “He’s brilliant.”
Russell feels the same way, apparently: In 2013, Russell told the New York Times that he and Tomlin “love each other” and “would work together tomorrow.” By then, he considered it “old news”: “What are you going to do? I take it in good fun,” he told Vulture in 2012. “You have to laugh at your mistakes.”
Despite their insistence that they’d work together again, they haven’t yet: Russell is directing Joy, an upcoming film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, while Lily Tomlin is winning accolades for Grandma and currently stars in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie.