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Director David O. Russell may be a master at writing comedy, but he proved that he’s not so good at coming up with jokes off the cuff. The American Hustle director was quoted as comparing Jennifer Lawrence’s Hunger Games work to slavery and quickly issued an apology today.
Russell, who directed Lawrence’s Oscar-winning performance in Silver Linings Playbook, talked to The New York Daily News on Friday at the Australian Academy’s AACTA Awards in Los Angeles and suggested that the Hunger Games work is pushing her too far.
“I personally think they should give her a bit of breathing room over there because they’re printing money,” Russell said. “But she’s a very alive person.”
He continued, referencing 12 Years A Slave, “I’ll tell you what it is about that girl — talk about 12 years of slavery, that’s what the franchise is. And I’m going to get in so much trouble for saying that.”
Russell then called the Hunger Games franchise a “hamster wheel.” He said that artistic roles are like a “vacation” for Lawrence.
Russell later apologized for the comment, which he knew was going to get him in trouble. “Clearly, I used a stupid analogy in a poor attempt at humor,” The Fighter director told The Daily Mail. “I realized it the minute I said it and I am truly sorry.”
Lawrence currently stars in Russell’s American Hustle and won a Golden Globe for her supporting role on Sunday. She’s expected to earn an Oscar nomination for the same part on Thursday. She is also the face of the Hunger Games franchise, playing Katniss Everdeen. She’ll play the character again for Mockingjay - Part I this November.
image: Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for DIFF/image.net