Lee Daniels has emerged as one of the few African-American directors with any real clout in Hollywood thanks to the success of The Butler. As well as being a black director, he’s also gay one, a fact he’s been open about since the beginning of his career.
He has previously talked about his difficulties growing up, talking about how his father continually beat him due to his sexuality. Now he’s been telling THR about how his childhood experiences led him to contemplate suicide.
He says, “I had a rough childhood growing up – very rough. Oftentimes I wanted to kill myself as a kid. You know, I was bullied because I was gay and then I was bullied because I was black going to an all-white school later on. Thank God I didn’t kill myself, huh? I think that the universe took care and God took care of me. I am the product of that environment.”
The Previous and Paperboy director has previously suggested that his identity and experiences growing up have had a profound effect on who he is as an artist. He adds to THR how his problems as a youth made cinema such as important part of his life.