As if Ava DuVernay wasn’t already #BlackGirlMagic goals, she is now taking her brilliance to the cover of Essence magazine. As the March 2017 cover girl, she is the face of the magazine’s Black Women in Hollywood issue. Naturally she looks gorgeous, but she also gives an in-depth interview on a variety of topics, including her Oscar-nominated documentary 13th, her filmmaking process and more.
There are many powerful black women in Hollywood and in a relatively short amount of time (at least by Hollywood standards) Ava DuVernay has become one of them, which is why her covering the Black Women in Hollywood issue of Essence magazine is such a perfect fit.
She looks regal and commanding on the cover with a direct stare that implies she’s is coming to take the crown from the Hollywood “boys club.” 2016 was a monumental year for DuVernay, as she debuted her OWN network series Queen Sugar, signed on to direct Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time and dropped her eye-opening documentary 13th, which recently nabbed a 2017 Academy Award nomination.
There are several quotable gems from the interview, but here are some of the standouts:
[On her films as her “children”]: “I want to do what I want to do for as long as I want to do it. I don’t have children. These films are my children. So this is what I will leave. I’m going to give them all the love and nurturing I can and send them out into the world to do what they’re gonna do…”
[On her filmmaking approach]: “I don’t have to approach film like a man would, or like anybody else I read about, because it’s personal…so there’s no right way or wrong way. Directors talk about their process but that doesn’t have to be my process. My process is where the sets feel very familial, where I like to know my cast personally and where I value who people are more than their names…[It’s important to] imbue the sets and the experience with a sense of myself, a sense of warmth, a sense of family, not shying away from the things…that make me a Black woman, and just embracing those things and letting that come out in the material itself…”
You can pick up a copy of the March issue of Essence with Ava DuVernay when the magazine hits newsstands on Friday, February 17. Be sure to stay tuned for information about season two of the hit series Queen Sugar, set to premiere later this year.
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20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Legendary Michael Jackson
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1. MJ was a victim of physical abuse from his father as a child. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he shed tears and claimed that he was so terrified of his father that he would often vomit when he saw him.
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2. His favorite animated character from childhood was Pinocchio.
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3. When MJ listened to the songs from his days in The Jackson 5, he said he sounded like “Minnie Mouse.”
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4. His middle name was Joseph – Michael Joseph Jackson.
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5. “Billie Jean” is allegedly based on a true story. MJ claims an obsessive fan tried to say he was the father of her child.
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6. His first song to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart was “Ben” in 1972.
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7. MJ was a huge Beatles fan. He paid $47 million for the publishing rights to the Beatles back catalogue in 1985 and sold a share of it to Sony in 1995 for $95 million.
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8. Get this… The costumes for the “Thriller” video came from the Salvation Army.
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9. Jackson invented and owns the patent for the special anti-gravity boots he wore that allowed him to lean forward extremely far in live performances of “Smooth Criminal.”
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10. MJ loved animals, and had several…strange pets. He had a python called Crusher, two llamas called Louis and Lola, and his most famous pet was Bubbles, the chimpanzee.
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11. Sources say MJ “borrowed” the Moonwalk from street dancers he saw outside a hotel.
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12. The original song title for “Thriller” was “Starlight.”
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13. Sources say MJ slept in an oxygen tent to live longer and for cosmetic purposes.
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14. MJ was a proud owner of a 2,700-acre Neverland Ranch that has a theme park, a menagerie, and a movie theater.
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15. “Home Alone” star Macaulay Culkin was one of MJ’s closest friends, and is the godfather of two of Jackson’s children.
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16. MJ’s estate signed a deal with Sony that gave them access to his unreleased recordings for $250 million.
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17. MJ often wore a black armband to remind people of the suffering of children around the world.
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18. The Los Angeles mansion he was renting just before he passed away once belonged to Sean Connery.
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19. MJ was allegedly a pretty avid reader… He was once accused by a library of owing $1 million in overdue book fines.
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20. Wikipedia, Twitter, and AOL’s Instant Messenger all crashed at 3:15PM on the day MJ died: June 25, 2009.
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