Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 24 May 2015

Spike: I've learnt to keep quiet

Spike Lee admitted that he doesn't like being referred to as controversial
Spike Lee admitted that he doesn't like being referred to as controversial

Spike Lee has said he has learned not to comment on certain issues after earning a reputation for being "controversial".

The Inside Man director told New York magazine he can't help but speak his mind, but time has taught him that sometimes it is better to say nothing.

He said: "I think I am smarter - I feel I am confrontational when I have to be, but it is not something that I live, breathe, sleep, and eat.

"There are just some things since I have been a filmmaker that I have made a comment on, and when you stick your neck out there, you got to let the chips fall where they may, and every time is not going to be perceived the right way. You are going to be misquoted, misjudged, or whatever, but this started early."

The director admitted he did not like being labelled controversial.

He said: "The stuff I have done and said has never been for - and this is a word I really detest - controversy.

"I think the word is misused. I was raised in a household - we were all encouraged by my parents to speak your mind. Now, that does not mean you should speak every time there is an opportunity to. And so it has been a learning experience over the years."

Spike has made his latest film Red Hook Summer independently.

He said: "Fun is not for me determined by whether it is an independent film or Hollywood. From the very beginning I have done both. I am a hybrid. I do independent films and also do Hollywood films - I love them both. But I knew the Hollywood studios were not going to make this film. And that is not an indictment of them, it is just a fact."

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Meeting new people is always a pleasure. You enjoy getting to know individuals who are involved in a fascinating line of work. Don't be surprised if the idea for a screenplay or novel arrives as a result of these discussions. You've always had a lively imagination. Writing stories gives you an opportunity to explore different ways of life without abandoning your own comfortable niche. Keep your project secret until you're satisfied with the results. A critic could take the wind out of your sails.More