20 notoriously troubled movie sets
'I Heart Huckabees' (2004)
Notable participants: Lily Tomlin, David O. Russell, Dustin Hoffman
What happened: Director David O. Russell hasn't always had the best reputation with his actors and he definitely didn't click with "Huckabees" star Lily Tomlin. The movie about two existential detectives (Tomlin and Hoffman) that will investigate the meaning of your life (in this case Jason Schwartzman's) is easily the most experimental and unconventional picture of Russell's career. It was also a risky storyline for studio Fox Searchlight and one of the most expensive films they've ever made (a reported $22 million). The pressure on Russell was enormous and it showed in a film that just didn't quite explain what it was really about or what it wanted the audience to walk away with. No one realized how bad it was, however, until two clips featuring Russell and Tomlin screaming at each other made it on to YouTube three years after release. And, surprise, the videos are still available for historical review here and here.
- Gregory Ellwood