“It’s terrifying, but also exhilarating”: Margot Robbie Defends Working With Abusive Director David O. Russell on ‘Amsterdam’, Cast Members Dispel Rumors About His On-Set Antics

margot robbie david o russel
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A string of controversial accusations against director David O. Russell’s alleged volatile, unpredictable, and verbally abusive on-set tactics has led to several headlines over the past two decades.


Needless to say, the filmmaker has garnered a notorious reputation amongst film connoisseurs and industry experts. Known for having physical squabbles with George Clooney and making Amy Adams cry, the director was recently commended by the actors of his upcoming endeavor, Amsterdam.

Amsterdam (2022) directed by David O. Russell
Amsterdam (2022)

Read also: “Hard to believe she made a stand with Bombshell”: Margot Robbie Outed as a Hypocrite For Working With Abusive Director David O. Russell on ‘Amsterdam’, Fans Say She’s Desperate For the Oscar


Besides his ill-famed crass attitude towards actors in the industry, the director also faced scalding backlash when it was found out that his niece had filed a sexual assault claim against him in 2011. David O. Russell himself had admitted to doing so in the police report. The case was, however,  dropped.

While the cast’s oblivious ignorance of David O. Russell’s infamous on-set and off-set behavioral tendencies has disappointed and angered many people, the talents involved have somewhat aggravated matters by singing the song of praises to push away any form of suspicion or disbelief.

The 2022 film features a powerful ensemble of eminent Hollywood personalities such as Margot Robbie, Christian Bale, John David Washington, Anya Taylor-Joy, Robert De Niro, etc. The endeavor also includes the notable, ever-so-famous singer-songwriter, Taylor Swift.


Margot Robbie’s Experience With David O. Russell

Margot Robbie details her experience with David O. Russell

Read more: “Let’s see if they get the same treatment as Olivia Wilde”: Margot Robbie Gets Blasted For Working With Alleged Molester David O. Russell on “Amsterdam”, Called Hypocrite For Playing #MeToo Card

The five-time Oscar nominee was praised intriguingly by the cast members of Amsterdam at the world premiere of the film which was recently held in New York. It is quite interesting to note that most of the statements seem to have pointed to how working with the director may feel rather challenging.

Putting aside the obscure nature of the compliments, Margot Robbie alluded to the director’s unpredictable nature, where filming becomes both “terrifying” and “exhilarating.” It should be noted that amongst the actors who have shown a recent association with the controversial director, Robbie seems to have garnered the most backlash. People have resorted to calling her a hypocrite as well.

Margot Robbie potterhead
Margot Robbie

Following is Margot Robbie’s full statement concerning the on-set filming experiences she had with David O. Russell:

“It’s terrifying, but also exhilarating, and puts you in a place where you can find a part of yourself as an artist you haven’t tapped into before.”

To describe an experience as terrifying is quite thought-provoking indeed. While Robbie’s comment seems to have been a subtle nod at the intensity of the director’s work ethics, it also seems to defend the filmmaker extensively. While people would not expect anybody to badmouth anyone at an official premiere, such statements do justify the growing discontentment of the masses.

How Other Cast Members Tried Eliminating The Rumors

Andrea Riseborough and Mike Myers
Andrea Riseborough and Mike Myers

Besides Robbie, other notable actors and actresses elaborated upon their personal opinions regarding David O. Russell. Andrea Riseborough claimed, “David shoots a rocket up your arse, creatively.” Meanwhile, Mike Myers, who plays Paul in the film, had nothing but acclamation for the director. Calling the filmmaker an “auteur”, Myers attempted to dispel the rumors that plague the reputation of Russell’s professional practices.


Following is how the actor described the on-set togetherness shared by the members of the Amsterdam cast:

“An unbelievable safe space where I felt like I could walk through a wall.” 

Michael Shannon, sharing a similar perspective on the matter, stated how the chats he would have with Russell would mount up to the amount of fun that he usually derives from “doing the work.” To substantiate his fondness and respect for the filmmaker, he drew comparisons with another legendary icon in cinema history, German director Warner Herzog. Shannon has worked with the latter, as well.

Michael Shannon
Michael Shannon

Read also: ‘Trying to Rival Oppenheimer’: Thor 4 Star Christian Bale Joins Chris Rock in Star Studded Upcoming Movie Amsterdam


While several people within the cast of Amsterdam have taken a liking to the director’s eccentric, volatile style, others in the past have attested that working with David O. Russell has been an emotionally draining experience. George Clooney, in a 2000 interview, stated that working with the acclaimed filmmaker was “without exception, the worst experience” of his life.

As Amsterdam alums continue to support the director despite his notoriety, the denunciation expressed towards David O. Russell is reaching new peaks.

Whether or not the release of the film will manage to counter the ever-growing criticism is yet to be seen. However, as most have stated on Twitter and other platforms, enjoying the fruitful premise of the Russell-directed endeavor is compromised in the face of such disheartening accusations.


Amsterdam is scheduled for a 7 October 2022 release.

Source: Vanity Fair


Written by Debdipta Bhattacharya

Articles Published: 659

Debdipta Bhattacharya is a content writer at FandomWire, where she has written more than 500 articles on various topics of interest. She possesses a sincere passion for popular culture, anime, film production, and the evolving world of YouTube and streaming culture which has allowed her to be a devoted and well-informed writer. Debdipta holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication. She has honed her skills and expertise in content writing with over two years of experience and strives to learn and grow daily.