Jennifer Lawence plays Home Shopping Network star Joy Mangano, whose mother Terry, played by Virginia Madsen, is a daytime-television addict.
Asked why he cast real soap stars in the film, Russell told Soap Opera Digest: "Going back to movies like The Fighter, I like to use real people in movies. And I just like taking people who are iconic in some way; I think there's something magical about that."
The filmmaker went on to say he "couldn't be more impressed" by all of the small-screen actors who took part in his movie.
"They are not precious, they are not egotistical. You say, 'Go for this,' and they go for it, because they do 100 pages a day. Those guys were like Olympic athletes. They impressed all of our actors with their bravery. They're such good storytellers," Russell said.