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“It checked every box,” he says, noting that the property’s original summer kitchen—a freestanding brick structure that kept heat and potential fires at a distance—“sealed the deal.” Still, he adds, “I never thought I’d come back home.”It almost didn’t happen.Wyolah’s then-owner, a Brooklyn doctor, bought the estate in 1976 with the idea of reviving it and retiring there with his wife.So then I’m like, ‘Well, you got to keep it in reality, you know? The shifts in the script came from me creating her backstory, which has empathy, and as it came in some of the scenes just had to reflect that.” Taylor continued, “I said this needs to be about something — about trauma, and the sins of our parents and how we treat people, and then I wove that into it.For me, when movies are successful your lead is not so honorable.“There was no back story [in the original script],” Taylor said.
Everyone knows the one black character in a horror movie is the first one to die, which is why Spencer naturally figured that was the character that would be pitched to her when director Tate Taylor first called her to gauge her interest in starring in a genre movie like “Ma.” In an interview with Cinema Blend, Taylor said that “Ma” came together as a result of his desire to direct a movie about “something fucked up” and a conversation he had with Spencer in which the Oscar-winning actress told him that she was “sick of only being offered the same role and never getting to be a lead.” Taylor and Spencer are longtime friends and have worked together in films such as “The Help” and the James Brown biopic “Get on Up.” Jason Blum first brought the “Ma” script to Taylor’s attention and he immediately thought about Spencer even though the original draft was written with a white woman in the title role.
Mick Jagger, a producer of Taylor’s James Brown biopic, .
Though Taylor has a place in Los Angeles and keeps an apartment in Manhattan’s East Village, he considers Wyolah his primary residence—and he has turned it into something of a filmmaking mecca.
Undaunted, Taylor “flew up and told him my intentions,” the filmmaker explains.
It worked—the man, Taylor remembers, got “teary-eyed” when he saw that his own plans could be carried out by someone else.