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Joe Pesci
He's ready for a fight
He's ready for a fight

David O. Russell's trademark longish hair is gone now, replaced by a clean, short-cropped look. But sitting back in New York City's Lobby Lounge in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel overlooking Central Park, he wears the same retro sneakers and dress-shirt-with-jacket ensemble that he's been known for since his 1994 art-house hit debut, "Spanking the Monkey." In the intervening years, the 52-year-old director has made three films of varying commercial success, each with an integrity that earned him the "auteur" label; he has erupted into two spectacularly notorious on-set freak-outs; and he walked away from a disastrous, three-year production. It's the sort...