David O. Russell Wants a Monitor From Mars: The Story Behind This Week's THR Cover

The "American Hustle" director was intense as ever with plenty of coiled energy while posing for the cameras, with THR's photo director remarking, "It’s hard to keep up with him."

Even when he's not the one doing the shooting, David O. Russell, an Oscar nominee twice-over for American Hustle, is directing.

Russell -- known for his highly kinetic directorial style -- was in perpetual motion and in full orchestrator mode while we shot him for the cover of The Hollywood Reporter's Feb. 14 issue. And though this presented minor challenges for photographer Austin Hargrave and THR Photo Director Jennifer Laski, the end photographic result -- intense but playful, with plenty of coiled energy -- is much like Russell's filmmaking.

THR COVER: David O. Russell Says He 'Was Meant to Tell Stories That Exhilarate and Give Life'

"It’s hard to keep up with him," says Laski. "David is such a great combination of intelligence, humor, and self-effacement."

Click here to enlarge the photo.

The director came to the set, Mack Sennett Studios in Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood, well prepared: Wardrobe (his own "uniform" three-piece black suit), props (the old-school handheld monitor he's used in many films), nutrition (garlicky green juice). And yet it was Russell's utter unpredictability that delighted the team, and made the shots.

PHOTOS: The Endlessly Entertaining Mouth of David O. Russell

"You can spend hours with some people and not get one honest moment. He's just the opposite," says Laski. "Whatever David O. Russell is doing -- he's fun."

For the full THR cover profile of David O. Russell by executive features editor Stephen Galloway, click here. And come back to THR.com Thursday for an exclusive behind-the-scenes video conversation with Russell.