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 carnage...so 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: