David O. Russell has been praising his ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ leading lady Jennifer Lawrence for her emotional maturity and powerful skill set as an actress.
When screening the movie recently at the Landmark theater in Los Angeles, he spoke about how Lawrence wasn’t even an initial contender for the role, saying, “Quite frankly, it was like a formality. I didn’t think she was really a contender. We had three very serious contenders (already). We had a lot of major actresses in town interested in the role, from Angelina Jolie to some other big stars, because it’s a dimensional role for a young woman. Jennifer we frankly thought was too young” — until she pointed the tiny camera at herself at her parents’ home in Kentucky.
He adds, “She kind of has an ageless quality about her, which is remarkable,” said Russell. “Harvey (Weinstein) said, ‘Isn’t she too young?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, she could be 20, she could be 40. Look for yourself’— and I showed him the Skype (audition), and he said ‘Wow.’ So that was a blessing for us to find our Tiffany. She came onto the set saying to Bradley Cooper, ‘Wow, what’s it like for people to take pictures of you?’ By the end of the shoot [last November], I think she knew for herself. Now she can’t get rid of people taking pictures of her.”
He also spoke about his original choices for ‘Silver Linings’, saying, “I wrote it with Vince (Vaughn) and Zooey (Deschanel) in mind, because I love Vince’s cadences.” However, he says all of that is “in the hands of the movie gods. And then Mark Wahlberg, who I love and made three movies with, there was a moment where he was going to do it. That didn’t work out with Harvey and him, and it was out of my hands.”