Lee Daniels: I was terrified of that scene. My sister was an extra — she’s in the scene — and when the kid put the shoes on, having him walk in front of his father, I had a meltdown. I was crying at the monitor because it happened, you know. My soul left my body, I was looking down, it was a weird moment, I couldn’t direct it, and my sister knew instinctively because she had lived it. She said, ‘Okay kid, put the shoes on, put your hands on your hips, and swish like this.’ I was terrified and it took me right back to a place of truth, which is what this show’s about. There’s nothing in it that’s fake. Every person who’s on that screen is someone I know.
I’m a little bit in all of them. I can’t tell you what Jamal is going to do but he’s pretty bad-ass. He’ll end up what I want to be.