Has David O. Russell become one of the greatest actors' directors in Hollywood history?
By leading his actors to three acting nominations for 2010's "The Fighter" and four more for 2012's "Silver Linings Playbook," Russell has put his name in a rare group.
He's only the ninth director to score at least seven acting nominations for two consecutive movies; Elia Kazan, Mike Nichols, Stanley Kramer, Sidney Lumet, Herbert Ross, Warren Beatty and James L. Brooks equaled his feat, while William Wyler set the record with eight nominations between "The Little Foxes" in 1941 and "Mrs. Miniver" in 1942. (See chart below.)
Russell's method of working with actors is different from most directors – "weird and instantaneous," in the words of Jennifer Lawrence, who was nominated for Best Actress for "Silver Linings."
He watches the scene from a vantage point close to the actors rather than behind a monitor, sometimes offering suggestions while the cameras roll.
"Every time we would do a take, it was performed completely differently," Lawrence told TheWrap. "You would say a line, and he would be like, ῾Say it in a different way! Pretend you misunderstood him!' … Stuff like that."