Lee Daniels is a man of many talents and – much like writer and director Ava DuVernay – has broken the glass ceiling within television. Recently, Daniels has been on a press tour discussing the certain politics of his new show ‘STAR’, what he hopes people will take from it, and why he casted a white woman as the main character. Peep the excerpts below.
On thoughts about Hollywood and why he moved to television:
Hollywood builds you up to take you down — I’ve learned that from many friends….My boyfriend said, ‘On TV, more people will appreciate your work, even if it’s not as potent, than on any film you ever do’.
On the overall message of ‘Star’:
What happens when you’re young and naïve, and you’ll do anything to get to where you want to go?. We’re from the ’hood and we can still be fabulous.
On why he casted a white woman as the lead:
I wanted to show a white girl that had some swag as part of the healing process. I wanted white people to feel cool. I wanted them to not be made fun of. We are one.
On why he dropped ‘Empire’ co-creator Danny Strong:
I don’t think Danny would understand this world. This would not have been the right partnership for us, because of the specifics — it’s an underbelly.
On the #OscarsSoWhite controversy:
Oscars so white! So what? Do your work. Let your legacy speak and stop complaining, man. Are we really in this for the awards? If I had thought that way — that the world was against me — I wouldn’t be here now. These whiny people that think we’re owed something are incomprehensible and reprehensible to me. I don’t expect acknowledgment or acceptance from white America. I’m going to be me.