“Prince wanted me to have that song, I don’t care what nobody says.”
A Prince song will be the last thing movie watchers will hear when they go to see Spike Lee‘s BlacKkKlansman. According to Lee, the film’s end credits will be accompanied by Prince’s cover of the Negro spiritual “Mary Don’t You Weep.” In an interview with Rolling Stone, Lee explained how the song came to be included in the movie.
“I knew that I needed an end-credits song. I’ve become very close with Troy Carter, one of the executives at Spotify [and a Prince estate advisor]. So I invited Troy to a private screening. And after, he said, ‘Spike, I got the song.’ And that was ‘Mary Don’t You Weep,’ which had been recorded on cassette in the mid-Eighties,” Lee said. “Prince wanted me to have that song, I don’t care what nobody says. My brother Prince wanted me to have that song. For this film. There’s no other explanation to me. This cassette is in the back of the vaults. In Paisley Park. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it’s discovered? Nah-ah. That ain’t an accident.”
During the interview, the director also talks about using footage from the 2017 Charlottesville riots, what was missing from the initial script for the film, and Denzel Washington’s son, John David Washington, portraying the movie’s lead character, Ron Stallworth. Those quotes can be read below.
BlacKkKlansman comes out on August 10.
On Jordan Peele’s initial BlacKkKlansman script and what was missing:
They acquired Ron Stallworth’s book and felt it needed more flava. And that’s what I brought. I was grateful for the opportunity because I had never heard of Stallworth. I didn’t know his story. People say, “That is too unbelievable to be true.” And that’s what makes it such a great story.
On deciding to include footage from the Charlottesville riots:
We started shooting in September. When Charlottesville happened, I knew that was going to be the ending. I first needed to ask Ms. Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, for permission. This is someone whose daughter has been murdered in an American act of terrorism — homegrown, apple-pie, hot-dog, baseball, cotton-candy Americana. Mrs. Bro no longer has a daughter because an American terrorist drove that car down that crowded street. And even people who know that thing is coming, when they see it, it’s like, very quiet.
On if he saw any of Denzel Washington in John David Washington:
John David is amazing in this movie. That phrase “the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree” — there’s a reason people say that. He is Denzel Washington’s first son. That’s a big, big burden. But he’s also his own man. I have a history with him. His first film was Malcolm X. At the end of the movie, when the kids say, “My name is Malcolm X!” He’s one of the kids. He was about six years old.
Source: Rolling Stone