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David O. Russell Would Like to Work With Britney Spears — Really

Last night, the Tribeca Film Festival kicked off with the premiere of Cameron Crowe's documentary The Union, about the making of an Elton John album. Mayor Bloomberg, Arianna Huffington, Martin Scorsese, and the Olsen twins were among the attendees, but we caught up with The Fighter director David. O. Russell, who revealed his deep appreciation of Britney Spears, and also Cher and Rihanna.

You work with so many different people in movies. Who would you love to work with, no matter how far-fetched?
Woman with O. Russell: Oh, I think that’s easy.
Russell: Really? Then you answer the question.
Woman with O. Russell: Britney.
Russell: Oh yeah, Britney. Yeah.

Spears?
Yeah.

Why?
You’re getting me into so much trouble. Who am I talking to? New York Magazine? This is bad. I’d also love to work with Johnny Depp under any circumstances. I think Britney could be great in a lot of different things, and I’m a huge fan of hers. And I actually auditioned her for a couple things.

Really?
Yeah. [To woman.] So there, I gave him something he’s going to write about.

You really want to work with her?
Used in the right way, I think she could be … I’m a believer, I’m not a hater, which I realize more columns and articles are built on hating. You get more journalism out of hating than you do out of loving. But I’m a lover, not a hater. So her, Johnny Depp. Who else would I love to work with? Who’s, like, a musician that I’m always, like, I would die for? ... Jack White. Oh, I also, I’m going to say Cher. [Laughing hard.]

Okay, what would you like to do with Britney Spears, Johnny Depp, Cher, and Jack White? Would you want to put them in a movie or what?
Sounds good to me. Sounds like you can’t go wrong with those people right there. Just add camera and stir.

Have you auditioned any of the others besides Britney?
No, I mean, Britney was several years ago, for another movie.

It wasn’t for The Fighter.
[Laughs.] No. She could have played one of the sisters when she was in her rough period, but not now.

Did you go to any of Britney’s concerts?
I went to the Circus concert.

Was it good?
Yeah. I think she’s a great entertainer.

Do you have her latest album?
You’re just getting me more and more in trouble. Yes, I do. It’s on my iTunes. Yeah, I’m rooting for her.

Favorite song from her album?
Um, is Femme Fatale the title track or is that the name of the album? There are a couple of good tracks; I can’t remember their names, there’s a couple of tracks. I also love Rihanna. I would work with Rihanna in a second. I think Rihanna was hilarious on Saturday Night Live, and I also have Rihanna’s album. And I like Rihanna’s work with Kanye. Maybe we need to add them to that movie. [Laughs.]

Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images