The True Stories Behind 10 Directors’ Most Personal Films

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Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell experienced some of the same situations that his characters did in his film about a former teacher who suffers from bipolar disorder and moves back home with his family. Russell’s son was diagnosed with autism as a toddler. Later, the diagnosis was changed to a bipolar-obsessive compulsive disorder hybrid. His son even plays a part in the movie as the neighbor who tries to interview Cooper’s character. “It’s personal to me, because I’ve lived through some of these experiences with my son,” Russell said in an interview. Star Robert De Niro, who plays Cooper’s father in the film, also related to the movie’s story about mental illness. The tough guy actor broke down crying during a talk show appearance, stating: “I know exactly what [Russell] goes through.”