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SUNDANCE 2009 - More On "Push" With Lee Daniels + Audition Clip

Just found this interview
indieWire held with director/producer of the upcoming Sundance selection, Push. As stated by indieWIRE's editor, "this is part of a series of interviews, conducted via email, profiling dramatic and documentary competition and American Spectrum directors who have films screening at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival."

It's not a profoundly insightful interview, but I did learn a few things about Daniels, his history and his methods, that I wasn't aware of previously, like the following bits and pieces below:

- In high school, I lobbied hard for the part of Max Detweiler in the "Sound of Music" and convinced my drama teacher that a black student could do this role. That took a lot of fast talking! (And that was also something that left an lasting impression on me; namely that roles should be cast based on talent and not color.)

- In LA, I was a talent manager for many years. I represented many African-American actors. After a while, I became disheartened over the shortage of roles for African Americans. I decided I was going to do something about it by producing my own films that included meaningful and compelling roles for black actors. So, I jumped into producing with my first film "Monster's Ball."

- While I am not a musician, I love music... I believe my love for music has made me partial to working with musicians in my films. I find musicians to be wonderfully talented and soulful.

- Why would anyone care about a poor, 300-pound, uneducated black girl as dark as night? The answer to this question is what this film is ultimately about.

- Future projects? I am still searching for this answer. My family and friends want me to direct a big studio action movie; my boyfriend wants me to make a musical; my investors have expressed interest in a childrens's movie; but I do not know...I still feel drawn to dark movies with endless human maybe a drug movie!

Read the entire interview HERE.

And thanks to Must Love Movies, by way of Black Girl Lost In A Book, below is an audition clip of Gabourey Sidibe, the star of Push, which apparently has been circulating online, unknown to me... not anymore. Here's the 3-minute audition segment:


  1. The Wendilicious Wonder said...

    I commend his decision to actually do something about the lack of roles for African-Americans, and Push looks like something I might go and see (despite the dodgy casting).

    I do wonder, though, when he's going to come up with some more varied roles for African-Americans? Seems like in Mr Daniels' universe, things are always bleak and/or sinister for black folk.

    Monsters Ball, Shadowboxer, now Push...

    Then again, maybe this is his forté - criminally dangerous black men and hapless, sexually preyed upon black women.

  2. Anonymous said...

    wendy will you join me? lol pretty sure we don't live in the same city. this audition is good. this is an interesting thought what if we got to see actors audition tapes for some of the bigger films?

  3. The Wendilicious Wonder said...

    MLM: Unless you live in London, England, then no, we don't live n the same city. But before I say yes, what exactly is it I'd be joining you at? Darkness and humarn carnage...? LOL.

    And TAO: The one thing that I didn't know about Mr Daniels (apart from him acting in the Sound of Music as a kid - so make that two things) is that the fact that he's gay...!

  4. The Obenson Report said...

    Didn't know he was gay either...

  5. NaySue said...

    Thanks for the love! ;-)

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