Look, I’m glad ‘12 Years [A Slave]’ got made and it’s wonderful that people are seeing it and there is another view of what happened in America. But I’m not real sure why Steve McQueen wanted to tackle that particular sort of thing.
[‘Fruitvale Station’] explains things like the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the problems with stop and search, and is just more poignant. America is much more willing to acknowledge what happened in the past: ‘We freed the slaves! It’s all good!’ But to say: ‘We are still unnecessarily killing black men’ – let’s have a conversation about that.
The inspiration came from a few things. Oscar was always talking about getting a house and one of the reasons he wanted to get a house is because he’d have a backyard for the first time and he could own a dog. They were in apartments and he always wanted a dog. And he wanted a pit bull. That was the kind of dog that he likes … it’s interesting because when you hear about pit bulls in the media, what do you hear about?