Each one of my movies is going to be about one of these different social demons. The first one, being 'Get Out,' is about race and neglect and marginalization.
Part of the desire to live in a post-racial world includes the desire not to have to talk about racism, which includes a false perception that if you are talking about race, then you're perpetuating the notion of race. I reject that.
I'll say this: The scariest monster in the world is human beings and what we are capable of, especially when we get together.
I love biting off more than I can chew and figuring it out.
Racism comes in many different forms. Sometimes it's subtle, and sometimes it's overt. Sometimes it's violent, and sometimes it's harmless, but it's definitely here. It's something that I think we're all guilty of, and we just have to make sure that we deal with our own personal racism in the right way.
I love getting cheers. I love giving scares. Anything that really works with the audience makes me happy.
I was a very scared child. Not, you know, not so much of life but of the demons that lurked in the dark. And horror movies terrified me. You know, I'd love watching them but then at night, I would just be up in sweats all night.
Part of what horror is, is taking risks and going somewhere that people think you're not supposed to be able to go, in the name of expressing real-life fears.
As a black man, sometimes you can't tell if what you're seeing has underlying bigotry, or it's a normal conversation and you're being paranoid. That dynamic in itself is unsettling. I admit sometimes I see race and racism when its not there.
I want to believe in ghosts. I love ghost stories.
As far as writing and directing, I'm very focused on the thriller genre.
You can track elections by who was playing that president on 'SNL' at that time. There's the theory that the more likable or charismatic impression would help get the president elected.
You hear it said time and time again by successful directors: You have to make a movie for yourself. Don't make it for anyone else.
The best comedy and horror feel like they take place in reality. You have a rule or two you are bending or heightening, but the world around it is real.
In the Trump era, it's way more obvious extreme racism exists. But there are still a lot of people who think, 'We don't have a racist bone in our bodies.' We have to face the racism in ourselves.
The way I look at it is, when you allow people to submerge themselves into a story, they will react by thinking through what it's about. That's just so much more fun and effective, I think, than a lecture.
You never want to be the whitest-sounding black guy in a room.
It's a no-win situation with politics; it's always going to be stressful. I'm more into the comedy of life.
Any time I claimed to be white, that would be unacceptable. It just doesn't make sense in people's minds. If I'm white, how can I walk through a department store and still have people scared that I'm going to rob them? Which, that can still happen.
It was definitely during the Obama administration that talking about racism, or calling it out, suddenly seemed taboo. It seemed like talking about race was somehow summoning the evil of racism.
I find campfire stories and urban legends are kind of the bread and butter that inspires a lot of people who are making horror and thriller. There is a nugget of truth behind these sort of cautionary tales.
Black people who want to do comedy go into standup, where our heroes opened a lot of doors. Improv doesn't have a ton of heroes that you can look to.
We go to the theater to be entertained, but if what is left after you watch the movie is a sort of eye-opening perspective on some social issues, then it can be a really powerful piece of art.
I was raised that emotion was a good thing.
I'm obsessed with giving the audience something they don't see coming.
Obama was the best thing for black nerds everywhere. Finally we had a role model. Before Obama, we basically had Urkel.
Now that the black experience isn't viewed as box-office death, people are catching up to untapped auteurs.
I am a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino, who takes time to figure out what his next movie is.
I didn't know my father very well; I only met him a few times.
As kids, there's somehow the fear that these bullies can end your life if they want to. Everything is blown up, and occasionally that kind of awful thing does happen.
I'd been taught from an early age that I was in the 'other' category on the standardized tests. You know, I had to go down the checklist - Caucasian, African-American, Latino, Asian-Pacific Islander, and then, you know, at the bottom is other. So, you know, very early on I was taught, in a way, that I was somehow this anomaly.
When you start making a movie, people want to know: Who's the star power? And very early, I realized there's not a lot of 26-year-old black actors who have been given the opportunity to be the lead of a film. It's, like, Michael B. Jordan, and then we're done.
Nobody wants to see sketch comedy that's the same sketch they've seen time and time again, or that's just a rehash of that thing.
New York is about as cosmopolitan as it gets. It's a fairly mixed and woke town, so there weren't a lot of situations growing up where I felt like the outsider or the alien.
I think the majority of police are really good people and really good at their jobs, but that doesn't change the fact that with any interaction I have with them, I'm viewed as a potential threat.
When I talk about movies like 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'Stepford Wives,' I really noticed that these movies were able to address fears surround the women's lib movement in a way that was engaging, not preachy, but fun.
I'm a true believer in story. I think when you just tell people to think, people tend to get resistant and defensive and feel like you're accusing them of not thinking.
African-American music tends to have, at the very least, a glimmer of hope to it - sometimes full-fledged hope.
I'm a bigger fan of my directing than in acting. Acting is just harder. You know, not harder, per se, because directing is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. But it's harder to enjoy my work as an actor, you know.
I think, before Obama, there was a glass ceiling. That's a big change. As a president, I think he was the best. I felt like I could trust his judgment, and he'd take a measured, empathetic approach. I don't see there ever being another Barack Obama.
The power of story and the power of a well-crafted film or television show is really all you need to speak to people. I think Hollywood is sort of catching up to that.
I define 'social thriller' as thriller/horror movies where the ultimate villain is society.
'Thelma and Louise' was a pretty important film for me and still is. It's a social film about many things - gender, freedom - and it puts someone like me into the place of these protagonists. Watching that movie, you are living through the eyes of these women.
There is something transformative if you're a black person cheering in a theater and turn to see a white person cheering for the same thing you are.
I think the lesson is that when you give black voices a platform and the opportunity to tell our story, we will tell good stories just like anybody else.
I want to produce untapped voices, find people and help them get their platform.
I wanted to be Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, Stanley Kubrick, David Cronenberg, Ridley Scott, James Cameron, and Hitchcock. I'd wanted to be a director since 13, and horror and the suspense thriller were the most powerful genres to me.
There's something kind of horrific about milk. Think about it! Think about what we're doing. Milk is kind of gross.
Little Haley Joel Osment in 'The Sixth Sense' can see dead people. Well, I can see racist people.
You boil down your influences to a soup, and it all informs you.