This is an early 1990's video of Bill O'Rielly blowing-up on the set of Inside Edition. He yells at a poor kid on the set for a poorly-written script on the teleprompter. On one hand, I have to point out that although Bill is a misogynist, pill-popping (or cocaine-snorting) asshole of the first order, he does a pretty good job re-wording the gibberish that was given to him. On the other hand, how has he been able to last in this businesses? And was this the audition tape he used for The Factor?
Bill-O: "FUCKING THING SUCKS!!!"
UPDATE: Of course CBS had the video removed from YouTube. But it has been duplicated enough. Expect Keith to do something with it this week. He can't resist. You can download the QuickTime / MP4 version here, thanks to Crooks And Liars. Over 400,000 people watched the video on YouTube before it was taken down after just a few hours this morning.
Commenters at C&L noticed how this could be the best viral tirade video since David O' Russell blew-up at Lilly Tomlin on the set of I Heart Huckabees. It is known that Lilly Tomlin has a strong personality (Brooklyn!) and is not the easiest person to work with. But she's no Joe Pesci. She finally made David O' Russell snap after probably more than a day of exchanges like this. But it reveals who the asshole is, and he is not liked within the industry, despite making one of the greatest films of the 1990's. As the NY Times pointed out in a long behind-the-scenes story, Russell put fellow auteur Christopher Nolan in a headlock over losing Jude Law from the set of Huckabees. Back in 2003, there was no YouTube. But now, this set rehersal video is just as famous as the movie.
Welcome to bigger movies, Mr. Schwartzman. Get your foot off that desk, and get away from Mr. Director. The girl cowering on the far right reveals a lot. Surely she had seen this behaviour before.
Worse than Johnny Mac
I think George Clooney explained Russell best. It isn't worth working with him or others like him at your workplace.
PLAYBOY: What made you want to do [Three Kings]?
CLOONEY: 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 and to Nic 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.
PLAYBOY: Did you learn about that the hard way?
CLOONEY: I did. He yelled and screamed at people all day, from day one.
PLAYBOY: Did he yell at you?
CLOONEY: At me often --- and at someone daily. He'd throw off his headset and scream, "Today the sound department fucked me!" For me, it came to a head a couple of times. Once, he went after a camera-car driver who I knew from high school. I had nothing to do with his getting his job, but David began yelling and screaming at him and embarrassing him in front of everybody. I told him, "You can yell and scream and even fire him, but what you can't do is humiliate him in front of people. Not on my set, if I have any say about it." Another time he screamed at the script supervisor and made her cry. I wrote him a letter and said, "Look, I don't know why you do this. You've written a brilliant script, and I think you're a good director. Let's not have a set like this. I don't like it and I don't work well like this." I'm not one of those actors who likes things in disarray. He read the letter and we started all over again. But later, we were three weeks behind schedule, which puts some pressure on you, and he was in a bad mood. These army kids, who were working as extras, were supposed to tackle us. There were three helicopters in the air and 300 extras on the set. It was a tense time, and a little dangerous, too. 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 fucking movie? Then throw him to the fucking ground!" The second assistant director came up and said, "You don't do that, David. You want them to do something, you tell me." David grabbed his walkie-talkie and threw it on the ground. He screamed, "Shut the fuck up! Fuck you," and the AD goes, "Fuck you! I quit." He walked off.
It was a dangerous time. I'd sent him this letter. I was trying to make things work, so I went over and put my arm around him. I said, "David, it's a big day. But you can't shove, push or humiliate people who aren't allowed to defend themselves." He turned on me and said, "Why don't you just worry about your fucking act? You're being a dick. You want to hit me? You want to hit me? Come on, pussy, hit me." I'm looking at him like he's out of his mind. Then he started banging me on the head with his head. He goes, "Hit me, you pussy. Hit me." Then he got me by the throat and I went nuts. Waldo, my buddy, one of the boys, grabbed me by the waist to get me to let go of him. I had him by the throat. I was going to kill him. Kill him. Finally, he apologized, but I walked away. By then the Warner Bros. guys were freaking out. David sort of pouted through the rest of the shoot and we finished the movie, but it was truly, without exception, the worst experience of my life.
PLAYBOY: Did you resolve things? Would you ever work with him again?
CLOONEY: Life's too short.