I've worked with a hundred of the biggest artists in the world, from Madonna to Mariah Carey, and Michael Jackson is just beyond. He's at a whole other level, spiritually. He's got the God spot. Everyone has it, everyone has that God spot, but it's just the way he's in tune with it. He has it. It's right there, and when he starts to sing, God has just opened it up for him. That's why he's not comfortable around people and things, because he's just such a unique - he feels blessed just to be himself. "I can't believe I'm Michael Jackson."
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Movies are the biggest export in the world, the biggest American export. It influences people all over the world. Music and movies. That's what's exciting about what we do, the fact that it's so global. It brings people together. People don't have to understand the language to laugh at actors. They're going to laugh even though they don't understand what they're saying. Cause they're seeing it.
There's no greater feeling than people coming up to me and going, "Man, my father was dying, and we went to see Rush Hour, and it was the greatest night we had in years together. We sat in that theater and we laughed for two hours without stopping. That was just a great memory that I had before my father died."
I love everything black, because black is cool. When something crosses over, people are like, "Oh, this is a crossover." First of all, there is no urban anymore. Pop culture is black. White kids are dressing like black kids. It's all crossed the lines now. The way I understand it is, everything black is cool. When it crosses over to white, that means it's going from cool to uncool. That's what crossover is.
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I want people to see my movies. My talent, my sensibilities are what people want to see in the movies. While I have the talent to make the kind of movies people want to see I want to continue to do that, keep making big pictures and make what I love. I'm really just making the films I want to see. There's not a strategy.
When critics or people judge, I think it's harder to make a commercial, pop movie than it is to make a pretentious art film. It's harder to reach millions of people and satisfy them and make them happy. These films kind of get ghettoized, this genre because there are so many big, big movies that are such big hits, but aren't any good. The audiences, they're not judging the style of the director, or the execution of the film. They're just looking to be entertained. They want to escape from their reality, and that's why we make movies, to get people to escape from the realities.
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I went to a public high school and most of the comedy was coming from the black kids and the Asian kids and the Hispanic kids. And, the coolest kids to me where always the black kids. They were always fashion forward and they always dressed the coolest. They were always the best dancers, and just the coolest people.
The producer can put something together, package it, oversee it, give input. I'm the kind of producer that likes to take a back seat and let the director run with it. If he needs me, I'm there for him. As a director, I like to have the producer there with me. As a producer, I don't want to be there because I happen to be a director first and foremost, I don't want to "that guy."
You can't reinvent the wheel. You've got to just take the best from all the other shows and try to make it work, because there's the "live show Gods" that dictate if there are going to be any surprises, if there's a very commercial film that's a Best Picture. There are a lot of things that are out of my control, but I do my best.
I ask my assistants if they're retarded all the time. When the camera is on you, of course, actors have the ability to make it real. For me, if I'm not talking, it is a problem. I have so much more respect for actors after being in front of the camera, and I realize that the hardest part is when you're not talking. Listening is harder than just acting. Listening is the hardest part.
Whoever writes a bad review, I put their name on a list, and they're going to get taken care of one day down the road. Otherwise, I don't let it bother me. The truth is, these are review-proof movies. The audiences are going to see it. My audience, our audience, isn't reading Esquire magazine to see if my movie is good or not. They just want to laugh, to be entertained, and lose themselves.