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If producer Joel Silver’s new action-comedy The Nice Guys felt like a throwback to the 1980s, so did his behavior on the recent press tour.
Multiple sources report witnessing a loud tantrum Silver threw at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc near Cannes, where the film, starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, was premiering May 15 before its U.S. debut and a press tour to promote its rollout overseas.
Silver, famous for his bad behavior during his 1980s and ’90s heyday with the Die Hard and Lethal Weapon films, was seen berating a petite female staffer working on Nice Guys. Why? She had the unfortunate task of informing Silver that his luggage — all 20 pieces of it, says one source — would not be flown on a private jet to the next European tour stop. The staffer was said to be in tears after the encounter and “completely traumatized.”
For years, Silver had a reputation in Hollywood for his outsized lifestyle and difficult personality. “He’s charming, he’s funny, he’s delightful. But keep your eye on him,” director-producer Richard Donner told THR in 2015. “Joel will use you and get everything he can.” More recently, Silver has faced tighter financial reins.
Nice Guys reunited Silver with Warner Bros., which was his home base for much of the ‘80s and 90s. Warners agreed to distribute the $50 million-budgeted film from director Shane Black in North America, where it has grossed just $23.6 million (it has not opened overseas yet). Some have questioned releasing the midbudget, R-rated film in mid-May in the heart of blockbuster season and opposite another R-rated comedy, Neighbors 2. But sources say Silver personally insisted on the May 20 release date.
Meanwhile, the Venice Post Office, a local landmark that Silver purchased as the future home of his Silver Pictures, remains boarded up and covered in graffiti.
Silver’s reps did not respond to a request for comment.
A version of this story first appeared in the June 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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