George Clooney once swore he would never work with this director, here’s why


George Clooney is a reputed figure in Hollywood, famous for hit films like Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Twelve. The 62-year-old actor has never really been mired in any public feuds throughout his career. However, the Up in the Air star once swore to never work with one particular director. Almost 25 years ago, Clooney had an altercation with American filmmaker David O. Russell on the set of the 1999 film Three Kings. At that time, the situation escalated so badly that the 65-year-old director nearly took up a physical fight with Clooney.

US actor George Clooney arrives for The Albies hosted by the Clooney Foundation at the New York Public Library in New York City on September 28, 2023. The Albies is the Clooney Foundation for Justice’s annual event honoring courageous defenders of justice. The event is named in honor of Justice Albie Sachs, who is revered for his heroic commitment to ending apartheid, and will be hosted by Amal and George Clooney, co-founders of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, and Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP)(AFP)

Unlike Clooney, Russell has made many headlines for alleged feuds, misconduct, and bad behaviour towards stars while filming. More recently, he was accused of making Amy Adams cry on the set of American Hustle and brutally yelling at Jennifer Lawrence during the 2015 film Joy as per Best Life. What’s more shocking is that Russell’s own niece accused him of sexual misconduct in 2011. However, he denied the allegations and was not charged for the allegations.

Russell constantly ‘yelled and screamed’

Back in 2000, while speaking to Playboy, Clooney revealed that he “fought for” a role in Russell’s war drama film. “David Russell wrote as good a script as I’ve ever read. I fought to get it. He wanted a lot of other actors before me. They went to Mel [Gibson] and to [Nicolas] Cage. I wanted to work on this movie. David is in many ways a genius, though I learned that he’s not a genius when it comes to people skills,” he said.

However, Clooney’s fondness towards Russell started fading soon after filming began. “He yelled and screamed at people all day, from day one, [Russell yelled at] me often and at someone daily,” the Ticket to Paradise star explained to the outlet. In later news, Clooney revealed his dissatisfaction with Russell’s mistreatment of crew members. According to Vulture, Clooney said, “I told [Russell], ‘You can yell and scream and even fire [the camera car driver], but what you can’t do is humiliate him in front of people. Not on my set, if I have any say about it.”

Clooney ‘went nuts’ after Russell hit him

Talking to Playboy, Clooney recalled a more heated situation and said, “David wanted one of the extras to grab me and throw me down. This kid was a little nervous about it, and David walked up to him and grabbed him. He pushed him onto the ground. He kicked him and screamed, ‘Do you want to be in this [expletive] movie?’”

When the ER star tried to intervene, Russell goaded him into a physical fight, grabbed him by his throat and hit him in the head. At that point, Clooney revealed that he “went nuts” and held onto the director’s throat. “I had him by the throat. I was going to kill him. Kill him. Finally, he apologized, but I walked away,” the Perfect Storm actor recalled.

Following the heated exchange between the duo, Clooney decided that the would never work with the Amsterdam crooner ever again. Staying true to his promise, the Gravity star has not worked with Russell to date. However, he revealed that he made peace with Russell in 2014. Clooney told Showbiz411 back then, “There came a time when I just said to him, Is this going to go on forever? We’ve got to shake hands and let it go.” “We put it behind us. And that’s great,” he added.

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