Senior Editor
04.23.08 22 Comments

Director David O. Russell (Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, Flirting with Disaster) has a reputation for being difficult to work with – besides the infamous video of him and Lily Tomlin screaming at each other on the set of I Heart Huckabees (included after the jump), he and George Clooney reported "came to blows" on the set of Three Kings (slap fight).

Now James Caan has stormed off the set of Russell’s latest film, a political comedy called Nailed.

The trouble started last Wednesday on the first of Caan’s two days of shooting the role of a U.S. speaker of the house who chokes to death on a cookie. Director David O. Russell asked him to cough as he choked, but Caan argued that the character couldn’t cough and choke to death at the same time.

Russell suggested that they shoot it both ways, but the veteran "Godfather" actor expressed distrust that his version would be considered and left the South Carolina set. [Via Yahoo/HR]

Everyone will pile on about Russell being hard to work with because of this, but whatever.  Actors are the most pampered, whiny babies on the planet.  If the director tells you to dance, or choke, or whatever; you dance, monkey.  Trust me, none of the crew talks about how intelligent and perceptive you are because you say stuff like, "Oh, but I don’t think my character would be putting on sunscreen like that, because he once got bit by a spider in the boarding house where his cousin was molested and…"

No. Shut up and do what you’re told, there’s a reason you’re not the writer.  The only actor with room to complain is Busey, who once lost three arms in a logging accident and only two of them grew back.  Dude is harsh.   

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