My work is therapeutic: 'Monster's Ball,' 'Woodsman' and 'Shadowboxer,' because I don't go to therapy, and I sort of live life through my films.
I believe in life that you know that everything prepares you for the next thing - whether it's a hit, whether it's not a hit, whether it's a... your failures are your accomplishments because it makes you prepared for whatever it is that you are going to do next.
When I make movies, I don't ever go out there to please anyone other than myself. I never try to make a film for the masses. I just try to tell my story.
When people don't like the film, I can take a bullet. I don't mind you talking about me, but I'm protective of my actors, because they bared their soul for me.
I was always intrigued with European cinema, and hated most American cinema. I didn't like the one, two, three - boom! style, with a neat and tidy ending. That was never my scene.
Every African-American I know has two faces. There's the face that we have for ourselves and the face we put on for white America for the places we have to get to.
Stars make money on real movies. They make big money on real movies. To come into my world, I've got some M&Ms and some potato chips, and I'm asking you to move furniture.
As a film director and as film actors, you get used to a certain rhythm that's slow. But with TV, it's hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry. It's a different pace.
I didn't have the sensibilities of your ordinary filmmaker, let alone your ordinary African-American filmmaker. My heroes were John Waters, Pedro Almodovar, and actors that were part of that world.
I moved on to a nursing agency as a receptionist just to get a job, and ended up managing it, which led to me opening my own - say your mom is sick and needs someone to help her, then you call something like what I had: a home health agency.
Here's the thing: I think the media underestimates the intelligence of the moviegoer. We need to be fulfilled. People want to sit down and think, and I try to make people think.
I am so used to having two faces. A face that I had for black America and a face for white America. When Obama became president, I lost both faces. Now I only have one face.
I come from a family of domestics. I think most African-Americans of my age do. They were trusted by their bosses. I have met so many white people that spent more time with their nannies than they have with their own parents.
I definitely caught the acting bug, but that lasted for about two seconds when I found my way to L.A. and found that my talents were better suited behind the cameras.
I don't know what gives me more pleasure: watching my story unfold or going in and watching a room full of black people talking for me and writing words for black people.
I had trained myself not to go to the bathroom throughout my elementary and junior high school years because I was bullied. And you don't understand why you're being bullied, so you just suppress it.
I don't know whether everybody likes the films that I do. I know that I love them, and I believe the way that I raise my kids that they will love them, and that's what most important to me.
I think it's very important that we don't sound like militants. Often what we do is we give a comment, and because it comes across with passion, then we're 'angry black people.'
I drank from colored water fountains and from the white water fountain just to see what it was like when I was a kid. What shocks me is that these kids today don't realize that this happened in many of our lifetimes.
I see the world from a very specific perspective. It is how I grew up. It is what I am proud of, and I vocalize it. And for those who have not experienced my experience, it is odd, and it's not mainstream.