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Gay Iconography: Lee Daniels' Unique Film Perspective

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To say the list of openly gay, black filmmakers is a short one would be a rather dramatic understatement. The most prominent, of course, is Lee Daniels.

“Gay people see the world differently. As a black person, you see the world differently. It's a unique perspective,” he said to the Huffington Post in 2012. “When I make movies, it's from a very specific place, and it's layered in context. You see my life and are watching my world. If you look at my films, you see life through the eyes of a black, gay man.”

Born in Philadelphia, Christmas Eve, 1959, he told Arsenio Hall that he remembered feeling different at a young age.

“There was never a closet… My earliest memories were coming down the stairs in my mother's high heels at six years old while my dad's playing cards with the buddies.”

Daniels persevered through abuse from his father and other children (he told the Telegraph: “From kindergarten to eighth grade [13 years old], I could train myself not to go to the bathroom all day and then just run home at three o’clock, because in the school toilets I’d get beaten up.”) After selling a nursing agency he started, he started working as casting agent and manager, working on films like Purple Rain and managing stars like Wes Bentley.

In 2001, his production company, Lee Daniels Entertainment, released Monster’s Ball, earning Halle Berry an Oscar and launching his career into Hollywood superstardom.

See more highlights of Daniels’ work and share your thoughts, AFTER THE JUMP

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Director Lee Daniels Discusses Growing Up Gay in the Ghetto: VIDEO

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In an interview on Arsenio Hall’s new talk show, director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) again shared how his experience growing up as a gay, black man continues to influence his films and his perspective.

Daniels also discussed in the interview why he thinks his late father never truly accepted him for being gay.

Said Daniels:

"He was embarrassed, I think.  And I didn’t understand why he was so hard on me about being gay. And I didn’t realize until after I did The Butler that at that time he was a second-class citizen. And that he was called a n***** . He wasn’t a man.  And so when he saw I was gay, he thought that was even ‘Oh my God this kid, what is this kid going to encounter? It’s bad enough.' So after doing The Butler and doing so much research, I understood where his headset was at and I forgave him and I love him."

Watch the full clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Director Lee Daniels Developing Gay Interracial Action Hero Movie Starring Alex Pettyfer

Pettyfer

In an interview with Out magazine, The Butler's Lee Daniels (pictured below) revealed his plans to develop an "interracial love affair action movie" with a gay couple. And the best part? He's already nailed down Alex Pettyfer as one-half of the gay duo.

Lee DanielsAccording to Daniels, think of it as a gay Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but the two good-looking guys as the action heroes." The twist? "We don't find out they're gay until the end of the movie," he explains.

He went on to reveal that, "Alex Pettyfer is in it, [but] I have to find the right black guy opposite him. He's so hot, isn't he? So hot. And so aware of his hotness in a way that's so...I love him to death."

With news of Daniels's plan spreading across the web as we speak, it seems the "secret" of the two characters' sexuality won't be much of a secret after all. And as for the second half of the gay couple, what do you think? Which black actor would you love to see playing opposite the gorgeous Pettyfer? 


Lee Daniels' 'The Butler' Gets a Trailer: VIDEO

Oprah

Last September Oprah published this photo to her Instagram account from the set of The Butler, which she was filming at the time. With her are the film's director Lee Daniels (Precious), Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan, and Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan.

The film is based on the life of Eugene Allen who served eight presidents as the head butler at the White House from 1952-1986, and the trailer has just been released.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via david mixner)

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Zac Efron on Foreign Cuisine, Animals, and His Wet Tighty-Whities: VIDEO

Z_efron

Zac Efron sat down with Jimmy Kimmel to discuss eating Baluts (eggs with half-formed ducks in them), shooting with animals, and spending ninety-percent of a film in his underwear (which is apparently how The Paperboy goes down).

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Paperboy

Continue reading "Zac Efron on Foreign Cuisine, Animals, and His Wet Tighty-Whities: VIDEO" »


Here's Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan: PHOTO

Oprah

Yesterday, Oprah posted this full-of-win photo to Instagram from the set of The Butler.

She wrote:

"Director @LeeDaniels , @JaneFonda as Nancy Reagan , Alan Rickman as Prez Reagan and me gonna be a long nite.#theBUTLER"

(via dlisted)


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