knicks interview

The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100: 

Ava DuVernay

Selma’s best picture Oscar nomination was the first for an African-American female director; the film also scored at the box office ($67 million worldwide) and with critics. This year, the Compton, Calif., native turned down Marvel’s offer to direct Avengers spin­off Black Panther. Instead, she will helm an untitled Hurricane Katrina project and will make her first TV foray with the series Queen Sugar, which she wrote, will direct and produce for OWN and Warner Horizon.

MY FIRST JOB IN HOLLYWOOD “Intern with CBS Evening News With Dan Rather & Connie Chung out of the L.A. bureau, which was covering Hollywood and the O.J. Simpson case at the time. Wild.”

WHAT I WISH I KNEW WHEN I FIRST STARTED IN HOLLYWOOD “When you nervously walk through the door for that job interview, that pitch, that audition, the person on the other side of the decision wants you to be the answer to their problem, their need, their issue more than you can imagine. I didn’t understand this until I was the person hiring and casting. Then, it clicked like the biggest secret ever revealed.”

THE MOST HOLLYWOOD THING ABOUT MY LIFE “Unfortunately, I’ve succumbed to the warped Hollywood trend and become spoiled by the expertly calibrated private screening rooms used around town by studios and filmmakers. Lately, I’ve been choosing perfect picture and sound over the grain, grit and gum-under-shoe of public theaters, and I’m really missing that priceless audience energy. There’s nothing like it.”

WHAT PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME “I’ve attended 24 U2 concerts since age 15.”

GO-TO LUNCH SPOT My Two Cents on Pico Boulevard. “Southern-inspired scrumptiousness served from a corner strip mall with major swagger and major skills. Love that spot.”

HOW I SAVE TIME “Calls while driving.”

I’M STILL STARSTRUCK BY “The Queen known as Cicely Tyson.”


MY QUIRKIEST HABIT “I like to crack other people’s knuckles for them. It helps them relax, and I enjoy it. I know! So, so weird.”


AS A WOMAN IN THIS BUSINESS, I’M STILL SURPRISED WHEN … “People are surprised by the patriarchy and prejudice embedded in this business, like it’s something new that was just discovered and not a longstanding legacy.”