Joy director David O. Russell has been getting justifiable praise for his comment about soap-opera actors.
But rather than include clips from a pre-existing daytime soap, Russell shot original scenes with soap veterans Susan Lucci (Erica Kane on All My Children), Maurice Bernard (Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital), Laura Wright (Carly Corinthos on General Hospital), and Donna Mills (Abby Ewing on Knots Landing). After working with these actors, Russell praised them in this week's THR directors roundtable, calling them "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.
Compare the above to an excerpt from actor Cary Elwes' book, As You Wish: Inconcievable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride.
Elwes reports that director Rob Reiner described his future co-star, Robin Wright as "She's on this TV show, Santa Barbara - it's a daytime soap. But don't let that fool you, she's amazing."
For the record, Elwes goes on to say lovely things about Wright's talent and her work ethic, includuing working long hours and instantly taking direction, ascribing a big part of it to the rigor of doing a daily soap