Not even Lily Tomlin had seen that three-year-old guerrilla video shot on the set of I Heart Huckabees which showed her and director David O. Russell setting off F-bombs and even the “C” word. My colleague Frank Houston of sister alt-weekly Miami New Times spoke to Tomlin the day after the video — actually, two snippets of two scenes — suddenly surfaced this week. Previously, it had made the rounds of Hollywood talent agencies back in 2004 and acquired instant urban legend status because it never went public. (The New York Times‘ Sharon Waxman chronicled this back then.) This week, Defamer.com got hold of the video, then it quickly migrated to YouTube. “Oh my God, the one in the car is on there?” Tomlin asked. “I’ve never seen it. Is that when I’m sitting in the seat and really going nuts? Oh my God, I’m gonna die when I see that.” The 67-year-old actress laughs about it now. “I love David,” she said. “There was a lot of pressure in making the movie — even the way it came out you could see it was a very free-associative, crazy movie, and David was under a tremendous amount of pressure. And he’s a very free-form kind of guy anyway.” The second video, shot on the set of the office of Tomlin’s detective character, shows Russell freaking out at Tomlin and, in reaction to her yelling at him, calling her “some fucking cunt”. Tomlin said “Adults have fights and go through stuff. I know some people are more dignified in the world, that if you transgress against that kind of professionalism, that it’s some kind of great sin, but I don’t see it that way.” She called the episode “in a way liberating… now it’s all over, and so what. And I don’t have to keep up some great pretention I’m the most dignified, eloquent, elegant, perfect, smart-thinking, kind, generous person. I’m just a plain old human with a whole bunch of flaws.” Hey, I’m not sure what all this fuss is about. In the annals of Hollywood movies, there’s been far, far worse behavior, including physical assaults. Maybe the fear of YouTube exposure will have an effect. But where’s the fun in that?
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