Last week,  Olivia Wilde, Lee Daniels and David O. Russell hosted the Ghetto Film School (GFS) 10th Annual Spring Benefit honoring Katherine Oliver at The Standard Biergarten.

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The Ghetto Film School (GFS) is an award-winning, independent film organization with a mission to educate, develop and celebrate the next generation of great American storytellers.  With centers in the South Bronx (NYC) and MacArthur Park (Los Angeles), the non-profit annually supports 650 diverse teen and young adult artists through high quality, pre-professional programs focused on the intersection of art, business and education.

We covered the red carpet at the benefit. “Third Person” star Olivia Wilde told us, “David O. Russell is a friend, and he’s been on the board for a long time and he was the one who introduced me to it and I’m very grateful. So I think it’s an extraordinary program.”


Lee Daniels

I was wondering if you had heard anything about the status of the Richard Pryor Biopic?

Lee Daniel: The status of the Richard Pryor Biopic is that we’re looking for Richard Pryor. As soon as we have Richard Pryor, then we’ll have the movie.

I heard Marlon Wayans and Michael B. Jordan were part of the name dropping, so are they still a part for the running for it?

LD: Some are, some are. Maybe. It’s a secret.

Congratulations on your show The Empire. How is it like working with the cast, producers, and everything?

LD: Yay! It’s a different experience. Well one of my kids told me that I didn’t know anything about rap, that I’m stuck listening to Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey-land, so I did it to prove to them that I knew about hip-hop, which I knew I didn’t know. Timbaland knew, so he’s helping with all of my music. And it’s been a collaboration. I’ve never had to collaborate before, with a studio and everything. But its been a great collaboration and I’m very excited. Going after American Idol in January, giving you a little bit of Holmes and giving you a little of Dynasty, a little bit of Sopranos, a little bit of Precious, all infused.

David O. Russell

 What do you think makes Jennifer Lawrence so great for the film?

David O. Russell: I think Jennifer is extraordinary in her ordinary ways. In some angles, she looks just like a girl in a mall, but in some other angles she’s extremely special and beautiful, and that’s what I think makes her – it’s very hard to define what would make her special. There’s something about her. A deep intelligence that comes across just in her eyes is very special.

And curious beyond her years, especially from the roles she’s played.

DR: Yes! In my opinion she is. And also she’s not pressured about her herself, you know, she doesn’t take herself too seriously.

-Tristen Yang

Photo Credit: Amanda Schwab/Starpix