Thursday, July 05, 2018

Blind Items Revealed #15

January 3, 2018

I am just going to leave this tip as is from the source, just because it seems perfect as is.

I had just moved to L.A. for a new advertising gig. This was back in 2010 or so. I was put on a  packaged food account and sold a fun campaign that was basically one big snark on the Harriet Homemaker type. I figured it was going to be a fun shoot since shooting comedy always is, right?

It got even more fun when we managed to snag a very kind and down to earth actress/comedian as the star of the spots. She'd been on a show on a cable show that I found hilarious but the reason people were really excited was she'd just been in an girl-ensemble comedy film that was a box office success so it was a big deal.

What was even a bigger deal was who we got to direct it. Now this person was a big deal in that A, he makes great movies and B, is a seriously loose cannon. We know this because of some leaked audio of him yelling at a comedian during a filming of one of his other films. Somehow we decided to roll the dice and ride the crazy train.

The first thing I noticed that was off about him was the fact he wore the same seersucker suit every day. For weeks. From the pre-production to the day of shoot. It got more bedraggled as it went along. He had seriously manic energy and the crazy vibe was so strong. He cost his production company about ten grand during one day because he sat in his SUV talking on his cell phone and eating a bowl of cereal an hour into our shoot time. Our producer just about blew out a lung yelling at the production company's producer.

During the shoot the only person he treated with respect was the actress/comedian. The other people who were in the spot were "regular actors." He belittled them, would rhetorically ask them if they really wanted to act for a living and he wasn't getting what they wanted. The vibe was just negative all around and everyone was walking on eggshells.

Now so far it's child's play. Here's the interesting part.

At one point on a break, we've almost wrapped the shoot. He goes over to where our clients are sitting, to chat with them. At one point, he asks the woman if he can speak to her in private. Before we know it, he's pulled her up from her chair and pushed her into a closet. I remember his producer trying to go in with them but he was having none of it. A few minutes later, they come out, she's flustered and he's back on set. The client is so flustered she's wanting a drink and demands one. She insists and doesn't care about rules of drinking on set and a runner is sent out for wine.

What we discovered later-- and this is where it's really disturbing, is that he violated her. But not in the way you'd think. What he did was, he apparently had a pair of tweezers in his pocket, pulled them out and plucked out one of her nose hairs. Apparently, it had been bugging him.

What's even more surprising I remember, is that when we told his long-time editor who was cutting our spots what had happened, she looked at us in disbelief for a moment and then said "That's all that happened? Man he must have really been trying to behave himself."

Oh yeah, and in what came as a shock to no one, shortly after the campaign ran we lost the account. The client was unhappy with us already; the experience with the director just put the final nail in the coffin.

Commercial: Hillshire Farm "Go Meat!"
Actress/comedian: Wendi McLendon-Covey
Cable show: "Reno 911"
Girl-ensemble comedy film: "Bridesmaids"
Director: David O. Russell
Actress he yelled at in other film: Lily Tomlin ("I Heart Huckabees")


LooksLikeCRicci said...

OMG. That's freaking bizarre.

I got Bridesmaids, David O. Russell, and Lily Tomlin, but I had assumed the actress was Kristen Wiig....

Tea said...

Why did no-one intervene when he pushed her into a closet? Sounds like they thought he was gonna assault her in some way so they just sit back and let it happen

Thursday November said...

What kind of crazy nose hairs did this lady have?! haha, this is all just weird.

Unknown said...

The penultimate paragraph says why no one intervened: in their world, far more bizarre behavior than that is accepted as normal. They don't hold the same ideas about personal space or professional behavior that normal people do, even when genitals aren't involved. What if you spoke up and became known as "difficult," and found yourself on the outside looking in?

jane3113 said...

Wow does a Hillshire Farm commercial really need a director like David O'Russell? Would anyone be able to tell the difference when watching? What a stupid idea.

just sayin' said...

just sayin' said...

Especially when you see the result, jane!

Brayson87 said...

What a f*ckin weirdo.

MargotBarnes said...

The only movie of his I like that he directed is Anchorman. That's it.

Asking for a friend said...

The Johnsonville Brauts commercials are better. Should’ve hired that director instead. I mean how many directors can get talking raccoons on film?! Lol

Unknown said...

He didn't direct Anchorman

JL said...

Who cares that he verbally abused an icon? Assholes. "It's just business."

Itttt said...

Kindness blind?

AKA said...

I knows he's directed KFC commercials as well.


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