Jude Law Admits ‘I Heart Huckabees’ Had ‘Bizarre’ Production, Says Film Was ‘Trying to F**k with People’

Jude Law has been teasing audiences for decades now. His looks, charm, tenacity, and willingness to channel that success in interesting, unexpected directions have always been admirable. But one of his riskier pivots — perhaps only in retrospect — was David O. Russell’s 2004 ensemble black comedy, “I Heart Huckabees.” Co-starring Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin, Jason Schwartzman, Mark Wahlberg, Naomi Watts, and many others, the film follows a group of interconnected lives all being investigated by “existential detectives.” Law had admired Russell and, unlike some of Russell’s past players, continues a relationship with the auteur to this day, but knows the film and the process of making it can be viewed with a negative light.

“The experience of making that film was bizarre,” said Law in a recent interview with Vanity Fair. “We were all there doing it for nothing, just loving being in each other’s company and playing. I remember fantasizing, ‘Well, this is what it must have been like on a Cassavetes movie. This is what it must have been like on a Bergman film.’ You were just there on the island listening to the master and adhering. And at the same time, sometimes being the bad child going, ‘Oh, I don’t want to play today. Fuck you. I’m not going to get up and do that.’ Other days: ‘Whatever you say, let’s do it.’ He kind of encouraged that.”

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A lot of Law’s willingness to play and let his mood carry him came from the recent success he’d found in his career at the time. Between 2001 and 2004, he’d already worked with masters like Mike Nichols, Steven Spielberg, Sam Mendes, Anthony Minghella, and Martin Scorsese.

“That was a really exciting moment for me,” Law said. “I felt very confident that I was in a good position in my career. I was able to make choices at a time that I’d never really made before, really looking at filmmakers that I loved and knowing that they had an interest in working with me and that I probably offered some kind of leverage. We were trying to fuck with people. We were trying to be provocative and interesting and other. At the time, it just felt, ‘Yeah, of course, this is what success affords you — this is what you should be doing, rather than, okay, what’s the next predictable choice?’”

The film celebrates its 20th anniversary in October and while it’s unclear if any revival houses will host screenings, you can see Law next in “Firebrand” from director Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz, in theaters June 14. In the film, Law takes on the infamous historical figure Henry VIII, delving into his fight with the Church of England, as well as his cruelty towards six and final wife, Katherine Parr, played by Alicia Vikander.

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