David O. Russell has directed and produced movies like Three Kings and Anchorman. The target of this famous tirade is actress Lily Tomlin, who was one of the most famous actresses out there back in the 1980s or so. But who these people are really isn't important, it's the fact that this is apparently the one workplace in the world outside of a locker room where it's OK to just absolutely flip the fuck out.
Tomlin is complaining that it's hard to pick up something from the desk without looking awkward, which I guess is the sort of thing actors have to worry about as part of their job. David suggests putting the folder down, and she barks, "Yeah, and take your legs off the desk and a whole bunch of other stuff." So they suggest something else, and she flies into a pampered drama queen fit filled with random "fucks" and a sarcastic, "I'm not as brilliant as you ... I can't keep up with you." Sean Connery would have slapped her without hesitation.
The video cuts, and when it comes back, David has lost his ever-loving fucking mind. "FUCK YOU! I'm just trying to fucking help you, you understand me?" Lily is still in bitch mode, but her retort is lost in the sheer volume and force of Russell's temper. He leaps up from the floor, still yelling, and like a scene from a made-for-TV movie about alcoholism, swipes everything off of the desk in a blind rage.
He starts to walk off camera, still screaming, but he's most definitely not done. Stepping back into frame, he belts out, "I'm not here to be fucking yelled at! I've worked on this fucking thing for three fucking years, not to have some fucking [WHAP!] cunt yell at me!" The "whap" is where he decided to punt something across the room in mid sentence.
Finally, he tells her to go fuck herself as he takes his leave. Tomlin tries to edge in the last word with, "Why don't you fuck your whole movie because that's what you're doing!" The following shot is of her ducking out of the way of some heavy, hard object that David threw at her.
It looks like things have been settled. Both people have gotten out their anger, and it's time to just separate and cool off for a bit. Except David O. Russell is most likely clinically insane. You can hear him shouting incoherently down the hall, as his voice fades into the distance. And then grows in volume as he makes his way back to Tomlin, screaming at the top of his lungs for her to "act like a grownup."
While he rants, one of the crew quietly ushers everyone off the set as if the room is on fire. Finally, he's had his say, and he exits the room, still in a rage, swatting down a lamp as he leaves.
As an experiment, I want you to go into your job on Monday and do exactly what he did up there. Come back and let me know if you still have a job on Tuesday. Hell, some of you wouldn't just get fired, you'd get an actual ass-beating to go along with it. Do that shit with a crew of dudes laying shingles on a roof in 107 degree weather. Call the foreman a cunt. Let me know how it turns out.
But in Hollywood, it's all good -- all of these people continue to get work, and if brought up in an interview they'll talk about how "passionate" they are (you think that argument would fly with, say, the manager at Burger King?). Between this and that famous Christian Bale rant on the set of Terminator, it really does seem like everybody on a movie set thinks they're Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, intimidating people with how "crazy" they are.
Which brings me to ...
I'm going to give you something here, and I'm saying this as a longtime fan. Quentin Tarantino can be a douchebag when he wants to. I won't argue that. He's known in the entertainment circle as somewhat of an arrogant prick, and he doesn't take criticism well. But what you're about to see is something that I never expected of him.
At first, this appears to be like every other paparazzi video we've ever seen. A celebrity is trying to do whatever, and they ambush him. The star gets pissed off and attacks them. But this one is different for several reasons.
Tarantino walks out of a Starbucks and doesn't notice the guys with cameras. As he passes, one of them says something, and he turns around to confront them. "What's going on here? What's going on here?" He says it five times, becoming more and more angry each time.
He asks again, "What are you doing, can you not talk to me?" Finally one of the guys starts to explain, "It's just for the--" Quentin slaps the camera guy, cutting him off in mid sentence. He then lunges at them as if he, Quentin Tarantino, is about to kick some ass, and they run back. As they regroup he starts to walk away.
The crew approaches him again, and that's where the whole thing gets weird.
He tells the guy that if he weren't filming, he'd be "whipping [his] ass up and down this street." Quentin Tarantino. Possibly the least menacing man on our continent. The guy who, as far as we all know, has no training in any sort of fighting at all. The man who has dorkiness pegged on a Dungeons and Dragons level.
That's what makes me sad. Not that he got frustrated with paparazzi -- nobody likes those guys. But Tarantino instigated the whole thing, and apparently did it out of a belief that he is capable of winning a fight. Has he really made so many movies about badasses that he now considers himself one? Like he has somehow picked up the knowledge and physical ability to actually dish out an ass kicking, simply by writing about them? Because again, he's Quentin Tarantino. I'm fairly confident that my six year old daughter can beat him down. Has his reality become so warped that he believes he's not the same geek who used to work at a video store and collect board games based on TV shows?
Evidently. Because it's not the first time he's done it. That link is from the late 90s when he slapped and punched producer Don Murphy in a restaurant and then reenacted the whole confrontation on a talk show, saying, "A little bitch slap don't hurt nobody." So knowing this now, I've changed my opinion about him from a dorky guy who projects who he'd like to be into his movie characters ... to a dorky guy who actually thinks of himself as a badass gangster.
Or ... was that was all a performance done for the benefit of the camera? Because he thought it would make him look cool? That's even sadder, if you think about it. I'll never know, I'm not his therapist. Though if I was, I think my prescription would be 5000 Milligrams of a good, solid beating. Repeat if necessary.
Special thanks to the members in this thread for video suggestions, feel free to suggest your own.
For more Cheese, check out 5 Ways Television Went Crazy Since I Quit Watching in 2003 and The Top 10 Celebrity Sex Videos Nobody Wanted to See.