In David O. Russell’s latest film Joy (which opens nationwide on Christmas Day) Virginia Madsen plays the mother of Jennifer Lawrence, who is obsessed with her soap operas! The motion picture features some very famous soap notables seen on screen on a daytime drama.
But rather than dig up old relic clips, Russell created new soap material featuring: General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Laura Wright (Carly), Knots Landing favorite, Donna Mills (Ex-Abby), and the one and only Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) of All My Children and Devious Maids, who appear in the film!
In a director’s roundtable of the most acclaimed films for this award season via The Hollywood Reporter, David said of working with actors from the soaps: “Jennifer Lawrence’s mother [in the film] is into soap operas. So we shot a soap opera from the ’60s to the 2000s, with Susan Lucci and Maurice Benard, who is like the Brando of soap operas. And those guys are like professional athletes. I’d go, ‘Donna Mills! Susan Lucci! Let’s have a catfight.’ They don’t go, ‘Oh wait, what’s my motivation?’ They just go, bang! I was blown away by the power of these women actors.”
Fellow director Quentin Taratino, who was part of the rountable for his latest film, The Hateful Eight chimed in and said: “That might be one of the most interesting things said at the table. The power of soap opera actors. That actually is a nugget, and I buy it 100 percent. (Laughter.)”
So, what did you think about the analogy made by David O. Russell on the soap opera actors as professional athletes? Excited to see Joy come Christmastime? Glad to hear a Hollywood “A” list director/writer/producer is giving props to the work ethic and talents of the likes of Maurice Benard, Laura Wright, Susan Lucci and Donna Mills? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!