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Lee Daniels Reveals Why He's 'Nervous' About Having Another Child


On this week’s ESSENCE Now, Entertainment Director Cori Murray runs down the top headlines, Fashion & Beauty Director Julee Wilson and celebrity makeup artist Camara Aunique show us how to achieve fun fall eye makeup trends, Musiq Soulchid performs and Lee Daniels talks about his hit shows. 

Returning for its fourth season, Daniel’s Empire is currently the No. 1 show for Black women on television and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. “Maybe three or four more seasons,” Daniels told ESSENCE Now host Makho Ndlovu about how long the show will go on.

“How do I see them ending up? Lucious and Cookie back together. And peace with all the family. That’s how I would like it to end up. Wouldn’t it be nice to end like that in a nice red bow. It ain’t gonna happen like that— but it would be nice.”

Daniels also talk about the criticism he often receives for controversial statements and projects he’s worked on. 

“I remember when I finished Monster’s Ball and they were like, ‘He’s a Black director. Would you do Leprechauns Part Seven?’ I was like, ‘We’ll what’s part 1, 2. 3…’ And they would ask about ‘Who’s my baby momma’ type of stuff. So I choose to do a film called The Woodsman with Kevin Bacon, Eve and Kyra Sedgwick—which addressed pedophilia— and we won Cannes with that film.”

“They’re going to come for you, no matter what you do,” Daniels said about criticism. “And you’re going to have to rise up and stand firm in your truth and know that you can look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and know you’re happy with the work— is this a legacy I can live on?”

But the most interesting nugget is that Daniels has thought about having another child —having raised his twins— but is leery in these uncertain times. 

“I want another kid but I’m a little nervous about bringing anyone into this world right now. Me, Taraji [P. Henson] and Terrence [Howard], we all had kids who were 19 —mine in D.C., Taraji’s in L.A.— all good kids, in school. And they were all in trouble with the law. And this is pre-Trump.”

Adding, “It’s a very depressing time we’re living in and I think some of our best work, our best art is being produced because of it, as African Americans.”

Watch the full interview in the video above. 


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