The whole world loves American movies, blue jeans, jazz and rock and roll. It is probably a better way to get to know our country than by what politicians or airline commercials represent.
The reason I'm in San Diego is not because I want distance from South Africa but because I want proximity to the people I love. But I don't envy growing up in America. As ugly as aspects of it were, my biggest blessing was to be born a South African.
I've always known that I love directing but I was really aware of it while making 'Beginners.' I am my happiest when I'm on set directing. I am also my kindest. When the actors get in front of the camera, it makes them very vulnerable. I am so in love with them for trying so hard.
As I said, my parents loved that when they came to America, if you worked hard, the only things that could stop you were the limits you placed on yourself.
I'm kind of a tech geek. With the camera work, I chose to shoot super 16, which has a real tactile feel. I feel it's as authentic as possible; I love the way the grain feels.
Now, we believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed, to put students first so that America can compete, that teachers don't teach to become rich or famous. They teach because they love children.
I really love stand-up. I'm more than happy to do it for nothing. I've come to America to do it for nothing. It's the American Dream: Work for free.
I'm proud to be an American. I'm proud to be an African American in America. I've had some interesting experiences: some great, some not so great, but I love it here.
There was a sense of all the things that go on on the street, particularly in New York, that you are just completely unaware of, that that conversation could be happening at any time. I loved the instability of the camera. It's just an unstable world.
I think foreign countries really do like it when American artists sing in their language. And when you go over there and say, 'Hi, how are you?' in their language, they love it. It makes them feel like you're doing it just for them. We in America take so much for granted.
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