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Lee Daniels Discusses Reactions to 'The Paperboy,' Tells What to Expect with 'The Butler'

by Jasmin Tiggett
September 6, 2012 7:29 PM
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In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, director Lee Daniels discussed his current projects and critical reactions to his latest film The Paperboy.

"I think that you’ll find it very provocative. It’s definitely an unexpected choice after Precious. The reviews have been mixed. They’re the same as Precious, but I’m not here to please you as I did with Precious. With Paperboy, there’s some big stars in it [including Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman] and they were surprised that I got them to do what I got Mo'Nique and Gabby [Gabourey Sidibe] to do. But I think die hard Lee Daniels fans will love the film and those who can’t stomach the truth will be appalled and call it disgusting."

He went on to discuss the perceived dark undertone in several of his films, referring to it as a therapeutic style:

"I’m addressing many of my demons in all of my films. Though I’m criticized often times for portraying African-Americans in a certain way, I love my people. But I also love telling the truth. I don’t hide behind the truth. I take a lot of heat for being honest with my cinema. Even with Monster’s Ball I didn’t know I was going to be attacked the way that I was attacked. A lot of African-Americans are disturbed by Halle Berry having sex with a white man, but I have to tell experiences that I know [from people that I know], otherwise what’s the point? And I think, oftentimes they’re not pretty. Often times, life isn’t pretty. "

Interestingly enough, Daniels indicated that his next film, The Butler, won't carry the same as much of the same dark tone. Based on the life of longtime White House butler Eugene Allen, the film has been rumored to have a bit of a Forest Gump feel. Said Daniels:

"I’m pleasing everybody with The Butler. I’m giving you PG-13 with just a splash of Lee Daniels." 

Find the full interview HERE.

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  • Katie | September 10, 2012 12:48 PMReply

    "Though I’m criticized often times for portraying African-Americans in a certain way, I love my people." *sideeye*

    "But I also love telling the truth." *side eye*

  • Miles Ellison | September 6, 2012 10:13 PMReply

    America didn't need the white Forrest Gump. They don't need a black Forrest Gump, either.

  • Max | September 6, 2012 9:23 PMReply

    "Those who can't stomach the truth will be appalled and call it disgusting".

    Oh, for crying out loud. I'm going to have to go back to Mike D'Angelo's quote: "I love early John Waters, but I wouldn't have had he suffered from the delusion that he was Stanley Kramer".

  • AccidentalVisitor | September 6, 2012 9:02 PMReply

    There are die-hard Lee Daniels' fans?

  • lauren | September 6, 2012 9:05 PM


  • Nadine | September 6, 2012 7:41 PMReply

    Man... this dude doesn't get it... never will.

  • WOW | September 6, 2012 9:52 PM

    We all certainly know was Precious was. It was a very good film with Oscar performances - PERIOD. All you armchair Psychologist and starving writers should spend your time trying to horn your skills. This man, Lee Daniels gets it and got it. Apparently his detractors can't find it. Now who's on first and who's yelling from the cheap seats?

  • James | September 6, 2012 8:34 PM

    I hear you Nadine.. but all he can do is him. He is a good director.. his socio/political filters don't match mine but I respect him as an Artist. That said.. we all know what "Precious" was.. even if he doesn't.. we can just look at the things they omitted and all intentions and demons become incredibly clear.

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