Nia DaCosta on 'Candyman' and the Power of Terrifying Legends

So I try not to read anything because the more important the things I do, the more the pressure. The pressure can be so distracting and ...


So I try not to read anything because the more important the things I do, the more the pressure. The pressure can be so distracting and overwhelming, and it can keep you from doing right and consuming the process. And, probably at fault, I can be a little self-deprecating [Laughs]. I was prepared that no one cared to be a part of it. I didn’t really think much about it until people on Twitter said, “Excuse me, this is Nia DaCosta’s ‘Candyman’. I was like, “Oh, that’s really sweet. I’m sure if it was another female filmmaker I would have done the same. Like, “Hey, you should probably be talking about the woman making the movie, not just the guy who’s more famous.”

Speaking of boating pressure, I imagine taking “Candyman” was intimidating because the fans protect him so much. Did you hesitate?

I was really excited because Jordan Peele was a co-writer and producer – that’s obvious. So I felt really safe in the process because I’m a huge fan of him. But then, of course, reality sets in. It’s not even like, “Oh, the fans really want to. … ”It’s a studio film. They got what they wanted to do, which was to earn a trillion dollars and be critically acclaimed. I think that was when I was like “Oh, no”. Then you have the community that I made the film for, which is my community in a macro sense – the black community. But then in the micro sense, a community of which I am not part, the Cabrini-Green community. So there are a lot of people you want to do well for, and this can be intimidating. But I think I just wanted to end with an open heart and humility as a fan of the original “Candyman”, as well as a respect for what we portray. I must have the faith that would guide me to do my best.

What kind of research have you done on Cabrini-Green?

One book that was the first touchstone for me was “High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the fate of American public housingBy Ben Austen. It was really amazing, because I like to have a historical perspective, especially with the subject of the film – the history and what makes history repeat itself and the history of the breed. Then we had an amazing historian and researcher on the film. And absolutely getting into the community, starting with standing up and walking around, and then talking to the people who live there, and the people who had to leave, and hear their stories.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Nia DaCosta on 'Candyman' and the Power of Terrifying Legends
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