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David O. Russell

I got put on jury duty, which is where I learned how to write.

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The closer you stay to emotional authenticity and people, character authenticity, the less you can go wrong. That's how I feel now, no matter what you're doing.

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I think what makes compelling fiction or cinema is when you're basically taking the most intense moments of experience and you're creating a song or a narrative out of it.

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That's what takes people out of the fight half the time. They get hit and half the reaction is your ego is saying, 'I cannot believe that person just lit me up - how humiliating.'

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I think any spiritual experience that's worthwhile is not about ego and it will humble you in some way. And also, a Zen monk once said to me, 'If you're not laughing, then you're not getting it.'

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I was frustrated because I couldn't get going, as I was trying to figure out how to make films. I had various jobs, I taught a SAT class, I was a bartender, I had a day job at an office and was making short films.

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I just love real characters, they're not pretentious, and every emotion is on the surface, they're regular working people. Their likes, their dislikes, their loves, their hates, their passions; they're all right there on the surface.

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That's the most beautiful thing that I like about boxing: you can take a punch. The biggest thing about taking a punch is your ego reacts and there's no better spiritual lesson than trying to not pay attention to your ego's reaction.

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I got a nomination for director, which means the world to me; it's just the most exciting thing for me and my family. You do the good hard work, and the rest of it is something you shouldn't get too caught up in, but when it happens - boy! I respect it.

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I've done my best to work from a place of humility - always looking over your shoulder saying, ""Does this suck?"" and I think that's a good way to work. The other way to work is where you start to think, ""I'm on fire, I'm amazing!"" and I don't think that's the way to work.

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