Director Lee Daniels says his harshest critics are his children

PHOTO: Lee Daniels in "Empire," 2015.PlayIMDB
WATCH Lee Daniels talks 'Empire,' 'Star' and family

The success of indie films "Precious" and "The Butler" helped make director Lee Daniels one of the most powerful men in Hollywood.

He followed those up with two hit prime-time television series, "Empire" and "Star." And he has another in the works.

The Daniels production empire has become somewhat of a family affair, because he allows his 21-year-old twin children to get in on the action. They even get a first look at his work.

PHOTO: Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson in Empire, 2015.IMDB
Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson in "Empire," 2015.

"They keep me in check. And you know what? They keep me current regarding my work," Daniels said in an appearance on "Popcorn With Peter Travers."

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  • Lee Daniels appears on Popcorn With Peter Travers

He went on, "They look forward to saying my material is bad. I’m not worried about critics. There’s no critic that can give me worse feedback than my children. If I can pass their eyes, I’m good. I’m good as gold. Because they look forward to dragging me through the mud."

Daniels said he always knows when his children think he's missed the mark.

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"They’re sophisticated enough and savvy enough to know great work. So I get nervous showing them my work. I really do. If they grab their phone, it’s a wrap. I know I’ve got to keep their attention at all times," he said.

Some of the biggest names in Hollywood have worked with Daniels. Demi Moore, Chris Rock, Marisa Tomei and Naomi Campbell are just a few of the stars who have appeared on his "Empire" series, which has just returned for its fourth season. Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt having major roles in "Star." Travers asked if Daniels has some sort of magic dust to get people to do whatever he asks.

PHOTO: Lee Daniels appears on Popcorn with Peter Travers at ABC News studios, Sept. 25, 2017, in New York City.Maryellen McGrath/ABC News
Lee Daniels appears on "Popcorn with Peter Travers" at ABC News studios, Sept. 25, 2017, in New York City.

"You’ve just gotta remain honest and humble and un-Hollywood," Daniels said.

Be sure to watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Lee Daniels in the video above.