Morning Joe | January 24, 2013
>>> it's gotten great reviews. tell us about it.
>> you know, it's a cool -- i don't know, it's a very unique story. it's written by david o. russell . i don't know if you like his films, but he's one of the best. it's about these people, you know, hopefully we can all relate to. they're a little bit on the extreme, emotionally, and yet they come together, in an honest way. o. russell, all he cares about is authenticity.
>> all right. that was bradley cooper on " morning joe ," talking about the director of the oscar-nominated film, "silver linings playbook." the movie has racked up a total of academy award nominations, including ones for best picture , best actor , best actress , and best director . and joining us now, director and screenwriter of "silver linings playbook," david o. russell . congratulations on so many levels.
>> thank you, mika.
>> so we're friends with bradley on the show and he's come on a few times. and i haven't always liked his movies. so i told him that.
>> we're not on tv now, are we?
>> no, we are.
>> so he's the going to hear you say that.
>> that's okay, he's good. but i told him i would see this, and i thought it was phenomenal. i thought he was phenomenal. and the more i think about the movie, and this is to me the sign of a great movie, is the better it gets, in your mind, when you think about the questions it raises in your mind, about people. and what i loved and i want to hear more about for you in terms of how you, why you did this, is that your main character is not necessarily -- doesn't have the most likable qualities. has some real weaknesses, has some real problems, but you were able to get the audience to root for him in the most beautiful way in the end, which is cool. am i right about sort of the way i'm reading it? or --
>> you're completely right. i made the picture, sydney pollack , a great director, gave me the book five years ago and i tried to make the picture for five years, which was frustrating, but also, there's a silver lining in that, because jennifer lawrence was in high school five years ago. so we got jennifer lawrence , and i got to re-write it for robert de niro , and it is personal to me, because my own son, that's why i was looking for the story. my own son has struggled with mood disorder . and any family who's faced that, there's nothing harder. and it just grows your heart and it applies to anybody. anything i've learned from my son really applies to everybody, including myself, in terms of not being able to afford a cynical or negative attitude. so sydney pollack said to me, how are you going to do this, because it's so disturbing, yet, it could be comedic. and i said, i know from the inside, because i know the heartbreak and i know the enchantment of it. and you've got to have the enchantment. if you've been through the heartbreak, i can't do it otherwise. that's what the character says, isn't life hard enough, would it kill you to have some happy silver linings?
>> there were some great lines, and jennifer lawrence as well. they are as both unlikable at certain times in the movie, as you are just so hoping that they get where they want to go. and the moment at the -- you know, i can't say where you see something that gives you hope, is so beautifully done. rattner.
>> did all that make this the hardest movie you've ever made? you went through a bunch of different re-writes, two actors who were supposed to dance, who i think hadn't danced professionally before, and then trying to balance this comedy, drama, the character that mika mentioned, did all of that add up to the hardest one you've done yet?
>> yes, and i think you very smartly named all the different hard areas. and it is a juggling act, because to hit the tone properly, where you had enough darkness. we had to cover it so each actor went as dark as we needed, but also went as beautiful and compassionate as we needed. and for them to dance, and to create their own dance that was credible and emotional and enchanting, and not, not sugary that they did. it was real. because i love the score s ssese pictures, but i also love frank khapra. and writing for all these people, and re-writing, to write in the rhythm of robert de niro , that's someone who taught me the rhythm of scorsese, reminds me of my italian catholic background, it's a lot of rhythm. that's stuff that means everything to me.
>> and on top of that, you had our good friend harvey weinstein weinstein. how'd that go?
>> harvey's passionate. he's passionate and he has taste and he'll fight for a picture. and that's a wonderful thing to have in your studio head. and no matter what else you can say, i mean, he's in there and he has his heart and his passion in there and i kind of love the guy.
>> can you talk a little bit about bradley cooper ? this is a career changer for him. the common perception of the general public goes back to " wedding crashers " and "the hangover," and talk about the process of arriving at the decision to use him, and were you surprised by his range?
>> i got to know bradley , i knew he'd be a surprise. when i made "the fighter," i knew that amy adams would be a surprise and christian bale , to a degree, with their warmth and a goofiness in christian and a toughness in amy. in this picture, i got to know bradley over those five years we were re-writing. this is a guy with a lot of dimension and soul who hasn't put it up there yet. that's a secret weapon for a director. a lot of people, doubting thomases saying, i don't know, i think he's charming in "the hangover," and i say, wait until you see the picture.
>> all these other movies he's done, they've used things he brings to the table, blue eyes or whatever they see, but that wasn't really actually capturing the essence of his talent. this movie does.
>> he's been through his own tribulations and he was very open with me about that. she's a very open-hearted person and a very humble person and willing to do anything. very generous to everybody else on the cast. him and de niro had a father/son report from a movie called "limitless." yeah, that's what it's called. so they -- that's -- you can't put a price on that, that chemistry. him and jennifer had to dance all day together. many actors might have said, oh, goshes with it's not my thing. they just got intimate right away with their dancing, and that translated on to the screen.
>> it's really good. i loved it and i think it's for everyone, which is neat. it's hard to find a movie like that. and someone close to my family, who literally, by diagnosis and by nature, doesn't feel much, has that kind of disorder, and this movie touched him. and he can't stop talking about it. and that was when i realized, this is really -- this was a really good movie. it really goes further that what even meets the eye when you're initially seeing it. so i congratulate you. i do. it must have been something to put it together. bradley can come back and i won't insult him. alex, do you think he'll come back? he said he would when i saw the movie.
>> i think we can get him back.
>> he seemed okay.
>> i walked out of one of his movies and he was a little thrown off by that. i think it was -- what was it? "the hangover"?
>> one, two, or three?
>> i don't know, they're all the same to me. but not this one, "silver linings playbook," david o. russell , thank you so much for being