Exit Interview: Lee Daniels

The Philadelphia filmmaker’s latest, Precious, is nominated for six Oscars

How many girls like Precious did you know when you were growing up? Many. My friend from L.A. is like, “Lee, you always had an obsession with fat girls.” I’m like, what are you talking about? In Hollywood, they don’t exist. I grew up with -Preciouses—in my family, on the streets. Maybe I connected to them.

How is your family here reacting to all of the attention? They’re wonderful. They don’t do well with all this stuff. Interviewers and Channel 6 go to my mom’s house, and she’s in the kitchen shooing them away. [laughs] She’s cooking for the church choir.

What’s next? I’m developing Selma now, which is about Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson. We’re in talks with Liam Neeson to play Johnson, and searching for King. I’m also developing a musical about drag queens with Hugh Jackman, Queen Latifah and Lenny Kravitz. I’m shooting both in Philadelphia.

Think you’ll ever make a movie I can watch a second time without having a complete emotional breakdown? That’s a good question. I’m talking to Disney about doing Cinderella 2.

Are you serious? Dude. The head of Disney loved the film and asked me what I want to do. I said Cinderella. For my kids.

Is she going to have a crack habit? [laughs] NO!