Director John Singleton discusses his new BET series 'Rebel'

John Singleton breaks down the new series, chats about his critically-acclaimed films and reveals what is was like to work with Michael Jackson.
16:34 | 03/28/17

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Transcript for Director John Singleton discusses his new BET series 'Rebel'
Brilliant director mr. Johnson and how are you. I'm Gordon thank you ES thank you so much for being here because on this busy time for you and me off. Tomorrow. March 28. 9 PM. B eat sea. Rabble rabble rabble premier rebel from Mary and I'm very excited about the serious Presley because I love to see strong female seeds on show and and I I know this is something I feel you can kind of elaborate a little bit. That sits close to sit to your heart because I feel achy back to me. You don't put this together you crafted this specifically. Yeah I'm I really. Was thinking about the slasher about how there but in no fee no. Empowered female heroes in this times. And I wanted to thank to a story about a woman who was basically going through something and house you've actually deal with it. You know and the way the temporary woman woods. And at the same time I was like you know hot hot pack and a deuce and different way and a different style. And I'm I went back to them though films of the mid forties and in 1950s the film noir movies. No pictures incomparable czar. And Dick Colin. And all of those actors there were in the films like they had the dark lighting in the hot shot shuttles and stuff like that. Never detective detective movies. And that's what if we do a movie like this but we said it like in and Oakland will assist. You know and we just see her be real. Yeah and I think that. To me it it kinda speaks to the volume of just some of the work that you Don odd and I. Asked because I I actually saw an interview that you did and you kinda mentioned that this series is like shaft. But with a female. It Shactman of saffron assistance after the black will be. Yes after the black woman they know it you to speak a little bit on that because I think it's very interest Steen that you you know obviously we know that he did shaft. I would always in the back of your mind like. Knowledge is came up put them within the last three years it was liked welcome I do differently in this television space that would have. Be close to my heart and in. And on a map we have sought in season Billy Butler be there every week and this was it this is really original. Concept. That we've vote put off road quickly. Yen and you know I I think also what it does to an like ice that I want people to tune in. I want people to get excited about it and that I think it's very time the incident is touches on I guess you can say at the very complicated relationship. Between. The black community he and pollute he and others seeing any different dynamics and it can you talk a little bit about the death of what's going on. This year actually what it is this like this was woman rubble rubble Knight played by Denzel morning true it. She is an army veteran that has transition to be a cop. And she's pretty good detective and then and something happens. Gloom that is it really personal to her that makes a transition from being a detective to being a private investigator. And it's it's would you like though on this faith in the system and yet in the system and then you find out while the system isn't working for me this whole thing I've been building. That I've been in the part of isn't market for me so what do Y do what she briskly. Takes an in our own hands he handles justice in the way she got a hand of justice in this happens or some rebel doesn't. He does it. Now. You know I think when me talk about this series we eat it like I said it just speaks to so many things that you HQ. As a director as a storyteller. A little bit about that connection that you with these stories because I think when somebody looks. John Singleton and at and look that your work. It's just amazing because again you know you have brought to the four fry these stories which I think that don't always get whole. And an and I want to get your thoughts on jest. Kind of looking back at some of these things I mean do you would you ever imagined. Some of these narratives. That you've been able it's now would have ever come to light if if they added in for you mean do you think these boys. Are being told now. No I don't I thought they sidekick well I live I live differently I. I look differently at the world and a lot of other filmmakers and storytellers you know I. Whenever some accident one way I flipped on its side and that meant an overview of deck of cards and that the again and I come up with how I see the story so. I think that what's that's what makes me have. A unique vision in this business of lasted so long has do things and a total different way than any of the filmmaker would. Yeah and just so people understand and I'm I'm sure say they are you know me clearly what like 26 years now 26 over. 25 years since boys in the in the I would like euphoric major feature film. And it's light from that point line you've been. Putting out these stories. Ably pointed justice on and so forth. Now I am I'm curious because you know in my opinion launched many careers with he's now. With surprising or rather surprising to see where some of these actors that you were when they were just. Young and young and then this whole field where they are now I mean that the prize. Pleasant surprise me not just to see it. Just to see the people of had a long careers and they are gonna do other things I mean ice cube has got transition from being an actor producer to. Almost mini moguls you know me in his make a lot of things happen in different ways and in film and television space. So. I mean I can't take credit for a list of those those of really talented people that all they really needed was. Opening in the distance and they just ran with it. And they did and I and I'm like amazed by. It's of them looking at some of the actors and actresses that you worked with just where they are today. And how much of the impact Dole's. First rolled weren't wearing where it led to now. You know one I guess because I'm just a fan. You know I'm Anna of the art in and of music in and I and I look at what it just didn't and I see Janet Jackson on my own. The beret. Soup. And you know it it's it's also you know I would come Qaeda. Speaking about it Q is that you always have this affinity towards these. You know. I think he RT and on you like Michael Jackson's go exactly yet he directed. Men and remember the time video of the current sentence him yeah I NEN dot. While wanna see in the is that what do you think we should do next and I say the opposite policy and available to black people is okay. This just. That is doesn't when he won easily within your business. Toma by about and he was reviewed to just. I'm with the with the stuff that we want them he won that Eddie Murphy and there are things that's important and are doing and he says yes and do it. So we may kind of a mini movie. Was great. As one of the best you have seen mean as far as it was still in debt and it had like story night again I think. You've kind of helped to set the foundation of the ground work for a lot of but you know looking forward I feel like. You're you consistently eat are involved in projects that are meaningful. And without being set I have to touch on the because something that convert. You know it was kind of really excited for you in your involvement in the potential to pop eye opening. I don't. I really was because look I I am I appreciate. Your work and and I I know that you actually have a genuine relationship. You know are with him and stoke kind of kind of like okay I understand but at the same time. You know what what what are your thoughts and mean kind of. I mean they've dated dated dated wanna make the move it now want to make so. There's no no or make I'm gone. Best of luck and that's really the same without mesa. What what would've been beat biopic or didn't he that you wouldn't me because I think people are interested I Kenya. Tell that and and that they Amman make them will be one day and thereby in his come see it. The hat yeah I feel like you have some of that connection. That I think that's what people were just so immediately excited that you're involved. And. There would have been fun but it's not doing enough time now. Yeah but you guys that you are very very busy and I I want to talk a little bit about just. In addition to rebel which we are super excited about because this is going to be if you already. I hit. In this sense of what you're doing back. It seems like you art Tiki. The next steps to tell the story out of what you kinda grew up in. On there's another dot that I was writing about a year apart. The Los Angeles right. Dot then coming up when I was and he told from a perspective. Of people who were there. Yes exactly. It's we're we're we're doing with this their dockets on any it's coming at me and in mid April. Vietnam. It it is shows perspective of people saw such a way black and Hispanic and then also of the Korean culture and how certain people were really really. That the most repercussions of this event. Reverberate of over 25 years to this day with these people wasn't just that one. Time thing and realize that they never thought about Maine you know something traumatic like that happens. We rarely think about the people that were on the ground and how that were affected by and that's we're showing and we're talking in those people. And and with that is that something that. You essentially be brought to the table or was this something that you felt like just needed to be you know. What has to stand to be tell you really do Stewart and a different way. Now in addition to that you know I'm I'm kinda curious because. You have multiple. I guess the ways of kind of bridging these gaps and you also have. A few things too that I noticed. Whats this this new theories still. Stop progress so far its going to be FX network's commitment lies. It's drama that segment today theory. Says she really about how cocaine change Los Angeles you hear the story about. Abouts. About. Scar face in you know the Miami drug for time but we never hear anything about the west with people about what happened and let's close. And the story the story is about as street characters remain characters ones CIA it is who. Those is young guy who feels if he opens up the pipeline that struck by land between processes in this Central America. You know rise with an agency's warnings. As the Mexican roots of our. Wrestler who is working for a family Max and famine who's into the marijuana trade and the lead daughter of that that famine wants to get the cocaine with her family doesn't want to get in the Coke and has the fewest in the Coca business masseuse he helps. And then as a black kids. Those from saucers plus sizes. Who learns how to sew. Coke from an Israeli drug dealer so it's really the interest and is a see how these different people. The you know strong cultural. Roots interact with each other within the drug trade that that's Lumix and so we're Lewis special. And I heard Jill Scott's. Not Jones not been she's not OK in this. They're who is anybody can cast is good acting there were lot of rumors of potential list. There's a lot of new people Leslie hammered made the lives. Men in these guys and gas interests. His British actor is phenomenal. And you know eye on that note I am just curious on how how do you peak now because I feel like you have this golden touch with knowing. Who's next you know when it comes to actor his. Are you looking into different how do you pick like. An actor or somebody. As far as what their talent is for your work. They have to be interesting to me you. That's rubio and not like look through them like they're like glass. As to collect advocates see an actor in the whole my attention. Then I'll I know that they're gonna sustain and hold the attention of the audience. For a long time. Now I know I there's been a lot of conversation about for British actors and and different roles. I'm do you feel like the pool is wide open when you child chooses type of talent are you limit your do you prefer. Has run up an amendment you know that that this unfair because of talent that's coming out of England this they're so well studied that they studied theater and it. This study what people do here and then. You know I just think it's it. Max everyone have to step their game up if you want to compete you gotta be able to brass leveled competition and that's what it is that's was all about anything. Acts. Now I I before we go I I I kind of been hearing about this other thing I ask that you are didn't end because I keep Panama all these projects that you're involved in I don't know maybe you can clarify. I heard something called straight would not ahead. I happen and it so far while we've we've we've had a different of this stuff happening right. Okay are good at what I heard what it was the ballad like okay this is going to be their age does nick yeah. So I'm. Again you know I I kind of want to touch on a couple more things for Beagle because of course you know we're excited about rebel and they series but I think you've made such an impact with different things that you've been a part of of course movies. I got kind of get your thoughts on what the climate of you know. Oscars and failed was now have have we crossed that laying levering now more snow diverse. Do you feel like. Oscars the white is over Andy what do you mean much now as a filmmaker. I don't really get that as Moses movies that that our Oscar worthy of that rise some level. Quality to be potentially nominated. Then we're doing all right you know the whole controversy started to a three years ago. When there are no black nominees but in a year there were very few people that actually could have been nominated. Now emanated mainly to a state that was your senate Coptic him let yes demolition of demand for best picture and to submit to two who. Who would crazy he should another best boy reactor but. A whole lot of other films people were complaining there's no way that they that they were Oscar worthy and. And that's the debate there I'm so look all you have going on right now I'm what is your downtime do you have any downtime. I hardly have any doubts. To put honest and how is that we're said they have have any doubt. He adds I mean so there's no light there's not like this hobby be arguing the band they had they not. Selma sailor from a cell have a cell bona go to. From. Californians. And LA down to Mexico and I go off from the water and it does not satisfy my solitude. And a OK I think you do a vacation soon probably and I saw well. Ron in human and accent allowed Woolsey hopefully you well but of course right now the big time because apple is coming out some around. Network airing well actually tonight tonight and I cannot tonight has come up tonight I beat seeing. You know everybody is such a DV hasn't that actually watch in real time if he can advocates and to show our of course. Thank you so much John Singleton for stopping by ABC radio can and continue to watch this man because of course you're you're making these wonderful stories of people up to thank your march.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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