The 2001 film starred Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow and Luke Wilson as the gifted children of Gene Hackman and Anjelica Huston's characters, whose divorce sends their kids on a downward spiral.

Russell reveals he first saw The Royal Tenenbaums at a screening with Anderson, and although he wasn't impressed with his close pal's work, he decided to fib his way through an awkward post-movie dinner.

"I watched the movie sitting next to him," he recalls to "Still didn't get it. Had to sit through dinner and lie, like you do to your best friends: 'I thought this was beautiful and this was beautiful...' If you want to support other artists you have to learn how to do that."

However, the American Hustle filmmaker admits he has since had a change of heart about The Royal Tenenbaums, largely thanks to his son, who helped his famous father see the beauty of Anderson's odd comedy.

He says, "It became one of my favourite movies."

The Royal Tenenbaums earned Hackman a Golden Globe award for his performance, while the screenplay was nominated for an Oscar.