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26 December 10th, 2015 JOY Director/Writer David O. Russell Calls Soap Actors “Professional Athletes” After Working With Maurice Benard, Laura Wright, Susan Lucci & Donna Mills!

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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!

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  1. Lana says:

    Finally. They deserve far far more credit than they get. I hope that they get some consolation from the absolute fact that soap fans are die-hard. We support our favorites and will support them.


  2. Rose says:

    Finally, soap actors are getting the respect they long deserved. Can’t wait to see Maurice, Susan, Donna, and Laura all together on the big screen.


  3. su0000 says:

    Maurice, Laura, Donna, Susan.
    WOW & WOW!!!!! ^^^
    David O. Russell picked GH power actors–

    This I loved;
    quote David-
    ”Maurice Benard, who is like the Brando of soap operas”

    I love and agree ^^^


    P. Xavier replied

    Totally agree! Maurice is TOTALLY the Brando of daytime. I’d like to see him doing Apocalypse Now! He blows me away every time I watch him. Mo is a national treasure.


    su0000 replied

    Sonny is the soaps Marlon Brando, for sure the best description.
    I really luvs Sonny!!!
    Once you peel away the all the layers, you do find a treasure, The Sonny !.

  4. maddiehayes says:

    So good to hear soap actors are finally getting the respect and recognition they deserve. Many of them are just as good as “A”-list movie stars. Many of them have later BECOME “A”-list movie stars. And those who choose to stay on their soaps can go toe-to-toe with movie stars like James Franco. I am really excited to see “Joy”!


  5. Mo says:

    It’s great that soap opera actors are getting some recognition for their hard work.


  6. MBmomof3 says:

    Can’t wait to see this. Really nice, yet well-deserved, comments by industry big-wigs. About time!


  7. vinman says:

    Yeah….now if only the networks,would feel that way.


  8. Sarah White Sees says:

    This is so true! Soap actors should get that kind of recognition! They work all year; not just do a movie every one or two years.


  9. jeremy says:

    I cannot wait, to watch this movie JOY…


  10. PJ says:

    Soap opera actors have been doing the “heavy lifting” for years. These professionals have to learn pages and pages of dialogue each and every day. In addition, they must emote and film, put the scenes to bed and be ready to do it all again the following day. Oftentimes movie actors have weeks and weeks to learn their lines and “find motivation” Bravo that Soap Stars are FINALLY being recognized for their amazing talent and work.


  11. Llanviewer717 says:

    Kudos to Mr. Russell for recognizing the true professionalism of soap actors. Too bad the network suits can’t or won’t see that.


  12. Sean says:

    Very excited about this movie. Can’t wait to see Donna Mills on the big screen. It’s her 75th birthday today too. :)


  13. Patrick says:

    “… I was blown away by the power of these women actors.”

    there you have it… the reason I watch and laud this genre

    easy on the eyes menfolk is one thing


  14. Carol Ann Bertucci says:

    Sounds good to me! Love the actors, watched G.H. since start, and heard bout movie ”Joy” from HSN, have all her products! L.I. girl, like me! Can’t wait!


  15. Adster13 says:

    It is high time soap actors receive props from Hollywood. Our soap stars give their all each day, no time for retakes. I am proud to say I am a soap fan and the actors keep us coming back even when the story line may be inferior.


  16. Allen saint james says:

    I remember thinking that when james Franco guest starred on gh he would bring some kind of Legitimacy but he chose to play the cliche soap opera actor (over the top) instead.


    su0000 replied

    Roger has taken Franco in many directions, seeking the right fit..
    I believe he has found it..
    I am so loving Franco, as of late… a BINGO!


  17. Soapluv2010 says:

    These industry “big wigs” know there stuff! They couldn’t have chosen better than my personal favorites – the ever gorgeous and intense, uber talented and fabulous – Maurice Benard and Laura Wright. They represent the best of a long list of actors who work hard everyday to bring their iconic characters to life day in and day out for decades, not just a couple of months. Kudos and thanks! Congratulations, much deserved, long overdue.


    Soapluv2010 replied

    Sorry, “know their stuff”.


  18. Susan says:

    I am so excited to see this, if our soaps stars are in it. I am 100% thrilled. Finally our soap stars get the credit, they so deserve.


    su0000 replied

    If you read the cast of Joy, Sonny is the only one with a charter name, he will be Jared.
    The others have no name given to them, they are just listed by their names.
    Looks like quite small parts, perhaps? ..


    su0000 replied be character name..

  19. Joanna Caroll says:

    Soap stars have the ‘office jobs’ in acting….reliable, steadfast and they show up on time. Can’t wait to see “Joy!”


  20. Stephanie says:

    Benjamin Hendrickson worked for him years ago so he has always appreciated talent. I’m glad he’s giving them recognition, though more needs to be done.


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