david o russell jennifer lawrence auditionFrederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Jennifer Lawrence has a spider to thank for her Oscar -- at least, that's according to director David O. Russell, who revealed that an altercation between Lawrence and a creepy crawly critter during the actress's "Silver Linings Playbook" audition helped land her the part.

Russell shared the anecdote during a Hollywood Reporter-moderated discussion at the Loyola Marymount University film school last week, where he said that when he was conducting Lawrence's "Silver Linings" audition via Skype (from her parents' home in Kentucky), he had her perform a scene in which her character, Tiffany, cries. Lawrence had applied heavy black eyeliner, one of Tiffany's signatures, and the makeup ran, so the actress went to retrieve a tissue from the bathroom.

"And then she went and killed a spider in the bathroom ... which was just kind of amazing to me," Russell recalled. " ... [W]hen she went in the bathroom, she went, 'Ah there's a gigantic spider in the bathroom.' ... Then she imitated how the spider went when she tried to attack [it]. That fascinated me as much as anything else. She was unlike anybody I'd ever seen, unlike anybody I'd ever met."

Russell added that pre-spider splattering, Lawrence's crying had made him cry, and the director teared up once again while discussing Lawrence's acting chops. Russell had initially been unimpressed by Lawrence during a brief encounter the year before he shot "Silver Linings," he admitted, and thought she may have been too young for the part at first, but her powerful -- and unexpected -- audition changed his mind.

Now, the pair have two collaborations under their belt (their most recent, "American Hustle," has Lawrence once again vying for an Oscar statuette), and are set to work together yet again on an upcoming biopic of the inventor of the Miracle Mop.

"She's just very special," Russell said of the actress. " ... She is a real down to earth person, who has a sense of humor about herself. Does not think she is important, [will] take the piss out of herself at any moment. And has a very deep, instinctive way of doing things that she can't explain, that she doesn't need to explain. She's not very articulate about it, or articulate necessarily about anything, but that's okay because she is who she is and ... everything she does is extremely alive and from her soul. Her soul merges with the soul of the character and becomes a third thing that does unexpected things, that does unexpected things that are somehow deeply moving and enchanting, and alive."

CATEGORIES Movies