'Paper Moon' Superfan David O. Russell Dominates Reunion Q&A

The 'American Hustle' director hijacked an intimate post-screening Q&A with Peter Bogdanovich and Tatum O’Neal to profess his undying affection for the 1973 film.
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Director-producer Peter Bodganovich and his Paper Moon star Tatum O’Neal quietly reunited Sept. 10 at private membership club San Vicente Bungalows in West Hollywood for a special screening of their 1973 film.

O’Neal won an Oscar for best supporting actress, making her the youngest performer in history to take home the gold. But her win caused a rift with her father, Ryan O’Neal, who was not nominated for playing her onscreen father in the Depression-era film, which tells the story of a con man who finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter. She covered the complicated family history a bit in her 2005 memoir, A Paper Life, but it came up again at the Q&A thanks to filmmaker David O. Russell who, in perhaps the night’s biggest surprise, proved to be the most active participant in the night’s discussion.

“He was really into it,” says a source inside the theater of how he kept asking questions and offering his own commentary on the events surrounding the film. At one point he even said O'Neal was “robbed” for not being submitted in the lead actress category. “It was one of those very special ‘Hollywood’ nights, listening to people in that world talk about how they truly love the craft of filmmaking and talking about that classic film in a very deep and meaningful way.”

The event was part of the Bungalows' event offerings, which include film screenings, Q&As, wine tastings and other activities for members and their guests. A source inside the private theater, which seats 50 and was at capacity, tells THR that O’Neal attended the event with her daughter Emily McEnroe.

A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.