Sorry to Bother You (2018) - full transcript

In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a universe of greed.

I'm Boots Riley.

I'm the writer and director
of Sorry To Bother You.

Significant Productions.

That's Nina Yang Bongiovi
and Forest Whitaker.

MNM Creative.
They're money people.

You all know who Macro is.

Charles King and them.

Cinereach. They're really cool,

New Yorker, hipster film people.

The Space Program. Gus.

So this scene...

I knew...

This was the first scene I knew
that I had in the movie

because it is, uh, kind of based on

how my friend, Rob, always got his jobs.

But he never got caught, though.

And he would get some really cool jobs.

He actually got jobs at Bank of America,

like, you know, not even as a teller,

as like a, uh...

as a, uh...

Bank of Oakland between 2014...

An executive, by lying
and giving out phone numbers

that were supposedly to managers

of restaurants and stuff like that,

but were really to the busboys,
um, of restaurants, and, uh...

That is intriguing.

And just was really good
at lying to get jobs.

Um, so shout-out to Rob,

if you are watching this.

And you, Mr. Green,
you never fucking worked there.

And the number that you gave
to the Rusty Scupper...

This is a scene

that we actually did in the Sundance Labs.

You know, when you go
to the Sundance Director's Lab,

you get to try a few scenes.

And luckily, we got to work it out

because I had this crazy,
like, figure-eight idea,

like, to be like,
"I'm a new director on the scene.

Check out what I can do."

Well, I had them made.

Listen, I just really...

We worked out the scene there,

so I think that's one reason
why it works really well.

Robert Longstreet
is an amazing, crazy dude.

And the other crazy dude that you will see

throughout this whole movie
is Lakeith Stanfield.

Um, you see it in his eyes.

Not just that he's crazy,
but that he's vulnerable

and that he's open to what's happening.

And I needed someone like this
to take us on this journey.

And you will show up tomorrow happy.

- Hmm?
- Thank you, uh, thank you.

Robert Longstreet, I saw him

in a movie called
Thou Wast Mild and Lovely

and just knew I had to have him.

Stick to the script.

Stick to the script.
Stick to the script.

And yeah, those are
those stupid slogans we see.

This font is created by J. Otto Seibold.

I had this font before
we even had the movie.

He's a good friend of mine.


That's Tessa Thompson.
That's Lakeith Stanfield.

Tessa Thompson.


Watch this. Lakeith Stanfield.
See how that works?


You ever think about dying?

I'm not gonna tell you who that is.

And this...

Although, the actor
in the picture is Keba Konte

who took The Coup's
first publicity photos.

When we're old, like, 90.

I really needed this to be a movie

that, uh, we highlighted
the humanity in the characters.

And for me, one missing part
of the humanity in characters,

um, especially when people
of color are portrayed,

is, um, they're the idea of, um,

them thinking of themselves
in the context of the world,

in the context of time and space.

You will always matter. Okay?

You know, something that people would call

you know, "having an existential crisis"
in his case.

But I thought that it made him more human.

This room, um...

Actually, I'd seen a picture
of Bob Marley's room

on a documentary,

and I took a screenshot of that picture,

and it was like, this is Cassius's room.

And it really represents
the beautiful clutter

we were trying to get
with this whole movie.

Production designer Jason Kisvarday

really did a great job.

That's my boy Tyranny's house,

right around the corner from my house.

I just knocked on his door
and said, "We need your house."

He said it was cool.

We, uh, got his wife
a couple days at a spa,

and it was all good.

I have to go to work, anyway.

All of these fliers and pictures,

they're all stuff
that means stuff to people,

and I think that's why this works.

You could try part-time.

Everyone is talking...

That's actually a picture from...

WorryFree is the
revolutionary new business...

A prison that was made into a hotel

in the Netherlands.

Your guaranteed employment

and housing for life.

Stop worrying and get WorryFree!

The WorryFree living quarters...


The WorryFree food is to die for.

It's a program, takes care
of all your needs, right?

Cash, baby,
what are they paying you?

I think it's just commission.

Hey, baby.

This was actually like
the first or second scene

that we shot in the movie...

Are you crazy?

And the chemistry

between Lakeith and Tessa is awesome.

Nice earrings.

Also designed by J. Otto Seibold.

So this is a great scene,
uh, for two reasons.

One, Terry Crews, uh, is
somewhat of a reveal

unless you've seen the trailer.

Um, and then, two,
Terry Crews is an awesome actor.

And then, watch this, what Lakeith does,
right here with his finger.

He should be pointing at Terry,

but instead, he bends his finger slightly.

And that's just one of the little details

that make us feel Cassius as a person,

as a human being.

Terry Crews is someone who,

he... he is a very inspiring guy.

He's very full of life.

He got behind this project
when he really didn't have to

and, um, came and gave it his full force,

gave a lot of energy
and brought Sergio to life.

This car is definitely based
on one of The Coup's songs,

uh, "My Car Is Better Than Your Shoes,"

but it's also just based on a lot of cars
that I've had in my life.

Hi. Forty on two.

Yeah, a lot of people thought
I should cut this scene out.

Those are homeless camps in Oakland.

We didn't have to build those.

We had fun making those billboards.

Got two of my kids in that,
two of my nephews.

Uh, football team, a fun, fun bunch.

Various shots riding around
West Oakland and downtown.

This... It was hard on this day
building that lobby.

Um, we only had one side
of it ready at one time,

and so we could only shoot
in one direction at a time.

Make sure that thousands of calls
can go out and in at the same time.

This was
just straight built out of nothing,

and, uh, Jason Kisvarday and crew...

which, that is Jason Kisvarday.

Hal Jameson is our production
designer Jason Kisvarday.

And, um...

they really outdid themselves.

We worked from pictures
of the cubicles in Tron.

This is closest we could get
with the space that we had.

You might even be able
to be a Power Caller.

A Power Caller?

This guy, Michael X. Sommers,

he, uh, actually lived
only a few blocks away

from where we were shooting,
so he's technically a local hire.

But I have a feeling that by the time

you guys see this DVD,

he will be known way more than locally.

He really brought a cool energy to this.

Again... picture of someone.

And I really wanted to...

be able to show an emotion.

I wanted to take the audience through

the same emotions
that Cassius is going through.

And I figured that if I did it visually,

we wouldn't just be understanding
what emotions he's having.

We'd feel it with him.

Again, the papers in the background...


Well, not again.
The papers in the background

are ones that, uh...

I wanted to use to...

make us feel the frustration

that's happening in Cassius and, uh...

Hi, Mrs. Costello.

I think I got a lot of that idea

from, like, Emir Kusturica films

where they'll have, like,

just a whole flock of geese going by,

filling up the whole frame,
out of nowhere,

and kind of adding to the chaos and...

So, all of this is this beautiful clutter

from just...

these pictures,
which is our neighbor's house,

and then, um, to stuff that we created.

The chaos that's happening
not only in the story,

but visually,
with the production design.

Damn it.

And in Cassius's mind and face,

and those papers add a lot to it.

This cut is something I figured out

right then when we were shooting
that scene was,

I figured out that we could do that

with him, um, saying,
"You're gonna just eat all those fries."

So, we changed
this scene later to fit it.

Hey. That's that dude from that show.


- Oh, shit!
- Hey!

That's fucking cool.
I hate that show.

But I never noticed that room.
What is that?

Yeah, this is
the first time we really get to...

we... we start to meet Sal.

And that's... Jermaine Fowler,

an amazing comedian who, uh...

This was his first movie,

and he really killed it on this.

The VIP room.

Um, I described it in the script
as ten-by-ten

and didn't realize
till it was time to shoot it

that ten-by-ten was too big.

This was supposed to be
a much smaller thing.

So, as soon as he stepped in,

we should've seen how small it was.

But we made the scene work anyway.

That's some baller shit.

Hey, Mr. D. Imits.

Cassius Green here.
Sorry to bother you...

Really grateful to have worked

with Danny Glover on this.

Danny Glover and my father...

Hey, youngblood.

Actually, uh, went
to San Francisco State together.

They were part of the 1968 student strike
at San Francisco State

that created the first, uh, school

or department of ethnic studies
in the United States.

So, I have been knowing Danny the longest
out of all of the cast.

I'm just trying to give you some game.

You wanna make some money here?

He really,
like everyone on here,

came and took it seriously,

and I think, um...

Well, you don't talk white enough.

It really, uh...

I can't speak for Lakeith,
but I've heard him say

that he was really in awe of Danny
as he was working with him.

This scene is
really interesting because...

when I wrote the monologue
that Danny is saying here,

I had no idea that I would take it

to the point of it being

an overdubbed white voice.

Only when I... after I wrote it
that I realized that's where it had to go.

You've never been fired.

Only laid off.

It's not really a white voice.

It's what they wish they sounded like.

So it's like what they think...

It was better, you know,
for me to bend a reality

to put my ideas of contextualizing
what was happening...

than to have it be explained.

And so that's how I started
going down the rabbit hole

of this being this fantastical,
absurdist movie.

'Cause I didn't know that
that's what it was gonna be

when I started out writing it.

You drop that shit,
'cause it crossed the line.

And we all have been
through stuff like this,

these bullshit pep talks
where someone's...

They're trying to get you excited about...

making them money.

But instead, you drag that heavy...

And there's always bad pizza.

- And then you tag it.
- Okay.

I-I just...

I feel like these metaphors
have not been cleared for this.

Now, this is Kate Berlant.

I had been wanting to work with her
for a while as I was writing it.

I didn't really know what she would do,

but, um, this is kind of really...

this character is kind of really
in the wheelhouse

where I knew that she could kill it.

There was a point where
we were going to have to hire

a local actor for this
instead of bringing her in,

and I was just like, "I will..."

"I will bring her in myself
because she's amazing."

And, um... so, certain part
of this was written,

but the funny stuff like
what she's doing right now

with her hands,
that's... that's just her.

And, uh, she is, uh...


You got to check out her stuff.

Just look up Kate Berlant,
and you'll never go back.

Once you go Kate,
you'll never go straight.

Digital, paper, otherwise.

Media is changing, so is capital.

Get with it. I don't want to scare you,
but it's a new world.

Okay, team members, let's, uh...

Thank you very much,
and let's all get back to work.

And obviously, we're doing...

we're showing Steven Yeun, so...

um, most people will be like,
"Oh, they're showing Steven Yeun,

so he must be a character
in this movie."

Um, and he is.

He is, um...


someone who would be known as a "salt."

And a salt is someone
who gets a job at a place, uh,

with the purpose
of organizing the workers.

And, uh, Steven talked
to a number of folks

who had experience salting
in order to create this character.

People call me Cash.

It was a really good question
in there, man.

What, about us getting paid?

I really like
what he did with Squeeze.

- I know, right?
- It's bullshit.

Exactly. I mean you just cut
straight to the chase, man.

And that was improvised,
about the, uh, the machine,

about it not being free.

So, there's a lot of stuff in here
that was cool that we kept in

that happened before the dialogue
was supposed to start.

I like this thing that's about to happen.

Your energy to jump things off.

Yeah, um, look.
I got to get back to work, man.

Hey, man, look...

This, uh, reverse "that's all, folks."

See, I don't know the...

I don't know what the, uh...

It's on me.

That wipe,
I call it reverse "that's all, folks"

'cause I don't know real terminology.

That was the thing on the set.
I don't know the...

Even in music, I don't know
the real terminology.

I don't... I'm not gonna stuff my brain
with those words.

Hey, lady, how much?

That was Giant Burgers,
the sign she was in front of,

which is very much a Bay Area thing.

- Who are you?
- That's Squeeze.

- Squeeze.
- He works with us at RegalView.

Squeeze, Detroit.

- Detroit? That's cool.
- Yeah.

My parents wanted me
to have an American...

This is another, uh, scene
that we shot in the labs,

and so, I knew from the labs
that's something that I was...

concerned about
before we started shooting was

keeping the pacing right on this...

so that we felt a certain energy
happening in the car with them.


once we started shooting,
I realized I had nothing

to worry about with this group of folks.

Furniture store
and play football all day.

That was a cheap joke right there,

but I think it worked
on a number of levels,

'cause we needed to see
those football players again.

Baby, can we please not talk
about the sun exploding tonight?


And she switches it from one
Coup song from the soundtrack

to the other Coup song
from the soundtrack.

This is a world in which, um,

the whole world listens to this one album,

which is the soundtrack
to Sorry To Bother You.

You can wipe my ass, Sal.

Oh, really?

And that is
from a story from my mother.

She would tell me this story
about her and her boyfriend

taking these long trips,
and the windshield wipers didn't work,

and they didn't...
um, they used string.

Her boyfriend, which is
my older brother's father.

Boom. I've had this scene
happen in my life many times.

This is actually footage
from Occupy Oakland.

WorryFree CEO Steve Lift

was interviewed on Oprah today.

No. Conclusively no.

Steve Lift.
The sandals are important.

Threats of physical violence,

so, therefore, the comparison
to slavery is just ludicrous...

The wardrobe.

Very... Very cool,
very liberal wardrobe there.

Deirdra Govan, our illustrious
costume designer.

This is actually footage from Greece.

There's no employment
for many people.

Even sweatshops
have been replaced...

Cynthia Rose,
played by Indigo Jackson,

who is also the voice
you'll hear later on,

during the stop-motion animation.

People had to do double duty on that.

That's J. Otto Seibold, with the beard.

In the sauce
with the cheese in it first,

- that's some white shit.
- That's some bullshit, man.

That's Silk-E, with the head wrap.

She's in The Coup.

That's how black folks do it, man.

- No, nigga, I'm black.
- We talked about that, man.

You're kind of black,
you Lionel Richie black.

Look, I make my noodles,

and then I put the sauce on them,
then, look it...

Then, I put a little...

Right here,
this bar is The Layover,

and the woman serving the drinks
at the beginning is Christi,

the owner of The Layover.

Spaghetti's Chinese.

Speaking of white,
I wanna make a toast.

In the background,
there's Lisa Aurora.

Many of you guys won't even know

these are just shout-outs
to people who are in there.

To my esteemed
RegalView associates...

We see some foreshadowing
of some Left Eye activists

in back of Detroit.

I'd like to dedicate
this imbibing of intoxicating...

This is also a scene
that we shot in the labs.

It was interesting.

We went through many ways

of figuring out how to do
the white voice, and, uh...

So, we did it different times
in different scenes.

Sometimes we had the actor

just mouth the words
without saying anything,

um, and have
someone off-screen read 'em.

That's a scam.

- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.

If you work hard enough...

Other times, we had them
actually just speak it

and then overdubbed it later.

And then sometimes
we had them mouth the words

without anyone reading it off-screen.

That was the hardest part to sync to.

And the best word. "OFF."

It is the anchor to the slogan.

- So...
- So what's the point then?

What you think,
I'm just supposed to work,

eat, fuck, sleep?

No, I'm not saying that,
I'm saying...

So this is Squeeze giving...

giving his opening salvo
to this group of folks.

That way, we all get paid.

he's been talking to other people

at the telemarketing spot before this.

Yeah, another reverse "that's all, folks."

I wanted it to feel like
a comic book, the way that it...

I don't know if that makes sense,
the pacing feeling like a comic book,

and the way... the different wipes

that we would've thought of as corny
just a couple years ago,

because they were.

Um, I wanted to use them.

You should find a new place.

That shirt that Tessa is wearing

is a shirt that was passed
from Joe Strummer

to Billy Bragg to me.

That's the green shirt.

And then the other shirt is...
you see what it says.

He sent me a brochure.

that cross was something

that Sergio was supposed to be wearing.

But we... we only...

I only got to see it for
the first time on the day of,

and it was way too big, and it looked
clownish with him wearing it.

You bring a chick
home to your apartment.

It's clean. It's stylish.

Of course it is...

All right. Now we get to see

Cassius, like, getting into it.

Really, um...

It's fuck time,
you know what I mean?

Doing well

and starting to feel hisself.

Spin Doctors. Classic!

Tim, I want to chop it up more,

but I got to get to my squash game.

Was that Visa or MasterCard?

God, this voice shit is crazy.

I needed to show him
really enjoying his success.

And so, I think maybe we have

the first high-five montage
ever in cinema history.

And if not, it's the best
high-five montage in cinema history.

We had... This was so fun.

We wanted to keep shooting it,
but we had to keep moving.

Those two crazy dudes together,

they need to do a series
of movies, um, together.

The song playing under here
is The Coup's "O-Y-A-H-Y-T-T."

You're doin' so fucking good
with the voice thing.

We needed that happy feeling
in this movie right now.

We needed it because
there's a lot of crazy shit to come,

and we need to know
what Cassius is getting out of this

that's beyond just the money.


PC, baby. Power Caller.

No, uh...

- Did you hear what he just said?
- Yeah, yeah. I heard him, man.

He told me the exact same shit
three months ago.

So this next thing is, uh,
very Edgar Wright-ish of me,

but I'm down to steal from people,

I don't care, to make a good movie.

That's iDummy,

a very well-known
turf dancer in the Bay Area.

There was a line that we had to cut out

where Cassius orders
a Long Island Iced Tea neat.

I wish we had the time for it.

Just imagine him
ordering that right there.

They say 150 million people
watch this every night.

Mm. I personally...

That game show...

is, uh...

I don't think it's impossible
to, uh, happen.

It's not that far off from what happens.

Right here...


I just wanted to...
Oh, yeah. This thing.

Yeah, I really have...

really want to talk about
what that is, but I don't.

So, why you ain't dancing?

Anyway, there are a lot of details

in this movie that, um...

have to do with, uh,
how mysterious life is,

and you don't always get the answers.

So, not gonna answer you about that.


Maybe it has something to do
with Danny Glover and who he is

and why he knows so much.

They make a shit ton of money, man.

So that line that he just said,

"I'm too old for this shit,"

I didn't even think about it

as being one of his classic
lines until I was in the edit.

Because I had that line there
before he was cast in the role.

Apples to oranges.

More like apples and the Holocaust.

Alright, bye.

This is one
of my favorite moments.

Just to shoot with all
the coordination that we did,

and all the pieces.

The smoke happening,

the tires, the sound of the bicycles,

the bicycles going past.

Football players there.

So all the elements just felt messy

in a way that I don't normally see.

And that was a big thing

that we were going for,
was some sort of mess.

And along with this moment with...

- Who invited you?
- Who asked you?

Cassius and Detroit.

Pop up earlier, I thought
you were gonna come by.

Oh, to your gallery?

The painting that you see
on a lot of...

Detroit's clothing is by Omiroo,

who also did the artwork

that you see later in Detroit's...

Can I get a light?

What do you call it?
In her gallery.

Those are nice earrings.

Wait a minute.

I didn't know you changed
your earrings.

The earrings.

Um, the other earrings,
the costume designer made.

This earring, production design
department made it.

And, um...

That guy is actually
the guitar player in The Coup.

Grego Simmons.

One of our producers, Jonathan Duffy.

Waldenbooks in Oakland.

Alright, everybody.

This is a pretty
amazing turnout...

This was the only homeless stuff
that we built,

was that part that exists right there.

Today is the warning shot.

Telling them that we stand united.

This part came out really good

'cause we had... we had to be moved

from the other spot we were having.

We originally wanted to do...

I'll give the call.

I wanted to make it look like
N.W.A. on this,

like the album cover for N.W.A.

So we beat from down below
looking at them up above.

And it didn't work out
because of where we had to be.

It just didn't look...

there was nothing behind it.

There weren't the things.

So, we came up with this,
like, right before.

Which was these wipes.

And they don't share.

If we're gonna give them our day...

we need to have enough
to cover our basic necessities.

Fast pan the camera.

Is anyone not down?

Combined with wipes,

because we only shot
pieces of the crowd at once.

Yeah. One for all, all for one.

Yeah! I brought all types of weapons.

And that...

And that was...
That was, uh, Jermaine.

This was actually Jermaine
and Steven improvising.

People don't know that Steven, uh,
did improv early on.

This is something which is an homage

to a Paul Schrader movie,

or at least a shot in a Paul Schrader
movie called Mishima.

Um, there's a section called
"The Temple of the Golden Pavilion."

And I wanted that same feeling
for Cassius,

that same sense of awe.

Omari Hardwick.

Thanks, Mr. Goldberg.

As always, we'll be getting that
out to you right away.

By the way...

RegalView management!

This is, uh, time,

it's time for things to take off.

We will not be overlooked!

We had made that up.

It was supposed to be, originally,

like, him putting
the fingers to his head

like he was mimicking a phone call,

then putting it up and putting it down,

but the actions got too complicated.

Fuck you!

Fuck you!

And fuck you!

Fuck you, RegalView!

Fuck you, RegalView!

Fuck you, RegalView!

The crowd got...

The extras got really hyped
during this part and got out of control.

People started taking off
their headsets and throwing it.

It might not have been shots that we used,

but people forgot that this was...

They were making, uh...

They were making, you know,

everybody that was playing
management feel bad

because they were shooting
a lot of hate their way.

Out, out, out, out, out.

Now, the production
design in this office,

I didn't talk about it,
but if you notice...

in the back of Cassius's head,
it goes from light to dark yellow,

and that is more noticeable earlier on.

Pack up your shit and get out.

Well, fuck you and fuck you
and fuck you! Fuck you!

I just realized there's a lot
of fuck-yous in this movie.

Mr. Green, you're starting
to sound a little paranoid.

That's cool. There's a lot
of fuck-yous in life.

Great news.

Great motherfuckin' news.

Great motherfuckin' news.
Power Caller.

- What the fuck...
- Yeah, we just got the call.

They think you're A-1 material.

This was a scene that...

Yes, you are getting...

Really got a lot of re-working...

as I was writing it.


Young, strong,
intelligent power caller.

We had to make...

I had to make you understand

why he might make the choices he does.

All their issues are down here,
not up there.

Two very different kinds
of telemarketing.

Wait a minute, wait a minute, uh...

And I think, uh,

what's interesting
about when you're writing,

you're not thinking about how much
the actor will bring to it.

So a lot of the job was done
by Cassius...

I mean, by Lakeith.

Yeah, I have a couple band members
in that group of football players.

Maybe you're right.

The big money.

The top fucking tier of telemarketing.

Making history
with legends like Hal Jameson.


And everything in this
after the champagne pop...

Oh! It's a really good batch.

Is improvised.

A lot of times I just didn't yell "Cut!"

- Just drink it right now?
- Yes!

Just to see where it went.

Ninety percent of the time
it was something

we didn't want to use, but...

here it gave us a moment

that we really needed in this film,

which is...

Power Caller, baby!

Right about...

Power! Power caller!

All the improvising we did
on our other scenes

that we didn't use
paid off with having that moment.

Wow, you really are ready, aren't you?

- Hey, Miss D. Yeah.
- Wow.

Okay. Well, let's do this, motherfucker.

This scene was one
that we were re-writing

as we were shooting it.

Just trying different stuff,
and we got it down to something.

And this was something
where I just said,

"Compliment him on his pink shirt,

and give me a statistic about it."

Thirty-five percent of men who wear pink
are more likely to start a franchise.

And, uh, it is hi-larious.

Wow. Damn.

- This is crazy.
- Oh! I'm sorry.

The elevator was something
that went through many...

many different iterations on paper.

There was a version with a fireplace in it
and all that kind of stuff.

So we just had to have
the right balance of possible...

and impossible.

Or possible and ridiculous.

You need help or something?

Like this, uh...

These, uh...

This code is one of those
ridiculous details

that, I think, fill up our lives

and end up being funny in a way
that I'm not used to seeing.

Voice here is Rosario Dawson.

Place alongside legends
like Hal Jameson.

She, uh, came on
after it was already done,

did this, and she's been a really big
promoter of this movie

even though this is all she did.

All right. Does it do that every time?

Welcome to the Power Calling
Suite, Mr. Green.

White voice at all times here.

Yes, I, uh, almost forgot.

Now, that,
those series of lights

is the reason why I was okay
with settling with this location.

This was another last-minute
location change,

and it really worked.

The look of, uh, mister...

whatever we want to call him,
Omari Hardwick's character...

Who do you think,
Mr. Green, makes that call...

Is something that was a series

of back-and-forths and negotiations.

I found the eye patch and suggested it.

Deirdre Govan really wanted him
to have a bowler hat,

and I gave in on that.

And then at the last minute,
Omari was like,

"I wanna have sideburns like you have."

So I was like, "All right."

So it came up with this look
that is really out there,

but I think we needed

this sort of a out-there guy
for Mr. Blank.

Hey, what the fuck
are you doing?

Dave, stop him!

That's Kelly Williams,
another one of the producers.

He fell. He didn't sue us.

Left Eye, bitches!

WorryFree has resuscitated...

So the WorryFree, uh,
production work space

is very much influenced
by Manufactured Landscapes,

the documentary
that beautifully shows, uh,

some terrible work spaces.

Okay, but see,
I don't know if I can...

Ah! Sugar on top, white voice.

Yeah, but what I'm saying is, I don't know
if I'm gonna be able to...

Here's the starting salary.

And again, this was
the other spot that...

behind Cassius,

that made me be okay with using
the location we used.

Just this shot,
knowing we'd have that shot.

Hey baby, what's your sign?

I haven't heard that one before.

Yo, that was crazy yesterday.
That was like that scene in Norma Rae.

You know the one
where she's like on the table?

Yeah, yeah.

There's some beautiful, uh...

graffiti all throughout Oakland.

Beautiful artwork of all kinds.

You guys didn't know
that Steven Yeun could do this.

He trained for six months.

Okay. Bravo.
Where'd you learn how to do that?

No, that actually was a...

He's credited in the credits.
You can look him up.

That was a...
the world champion sign twirler.

Trouble's already there.
I just help folks fix it.

Yeah, that's what I do with my art too.

Uh, what's happening here
is an important...

I haven't seen your stuff, so I can't...

Debate about art and organizing.

So, how does it work with, uh...

But it kind of got cut down,
um, into a couple of lines

because, you know,
what's more important

is people not getting, um,

bored of the scene and conversation.

So we made this into
a scene that really worked.

But if you read the script
that came out on McSweeney's,

you'll see there's a longer conversation

that maybe only artists
and organizers would care about.

So, I'm not talking to y'all, this movie.

I am, but you get it.

You look like you're done here
if you need a ride.

No, Cash is on the way.

But thank you.

Nice work.

We filmed a lot of this movie...

in, like,
a two-mile radius of itself.

Hey, girl!

So a lot of people that are from...
that really know Oakland might be like,

"Why is she getting in a car

to go over to where
her gallery spot is?"

Hal Jameson again.

I love this music that's right here.

The mus...
Let's talk about the music.


The music is done by Tune-Yards
as far as the, uh, the score,

which is all the stuff
that the characters can't hear.

You okay?

Except for the one song,

And I worked with...

Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner
of Tune-Yards

since before I was in the labs,

before I was in the director's lab.

Does that mean you can
pay me back my $80?

Started going back and forth
on music for the scenes.

And they've been down,
and they really came through

and gave this a unique
and original score.

Baby, this is beautiful and big.


This artwork here is by Omiroo.


And, uh, except for the, uh, the statues.

The statues were something
that the art department made,

so that it could help
with the story later on.

Hopefully, you're not watching this
before you watch the movie.

I wanted to talk about
a life shaped by exploitation,

about fighting for a say
in our own lives,

about how beauty, love,
and laughter,

thrive and flourish under almost
any circumstances...

I think right now, uh...

Cassius feels the way
a lot of people feel when, um...

About how you're nodding
like you're listening, but you're not.

Oh, no, sorry, baby. I just...

When folks are really deeply
explaining something

that they politically really care about,

but is not as connected...

That the other person
is not as connected to.

Yes, okay, listening now.

Capitalism in Africa is booming.

Shh! I'm done talking.

I just want to marinate in this.

So many scenes
in this movie that I...

was asked to cut.

That's definitely one of them.

Without it, Detroit
would've been much flatter.

It felt good
the other day, right?

- Yes.
- It was good, man.

It's like I've known y'all
my whole life, you know?

Don't forget that, okay?

Remember each other's faces.

Cassius? What's up, man?
Where you been?

What's up with the suit?

I got promoted.

That's my father in the hat.

Are you a manager now?

That means
I'm a Power Caller now.

This scene right here is, um...

We were gonna do it as a team.
Are you on the team?

The other scene that I knew
that I would have in the movie,

and it's because, uh,

it happened to my little brother, Manuel.

And not the context of him
getting a promotion,

but just the compliment, argument thing.

And this was a hard one to make work.

And I was getting nervous
as they were rehearsing it,

when we were setting up for the scene.

Because to get that tone
that we got here,

is like walking on a tightrope.

You don't want it to be obvious
between those two actors

that they are trying to be funny.

It doesn't work that way.

It will work for some people
but not for me.

So the first couple of lines were written,
the rest of it was improvised.

Steven Yeun's face is a big part
of why this scene is funny.

It's on me. No, it's on me now!

- It's on you?
- Yeah, it's on me now!

- Yeah, it's on me.
- All right!

All right!

They really pulled it off.

It took a lot of takes to get that one.

And not a lot of takes
because of anything except for,

it was a tone that
we hadn't really seen before.

Or a thing that
we had never really seen before.

Greetings, Cassius Green.

I hope you did not masturbate today.

We need you sharp and ready to go.

I detect the pheromones
percolating out of your pores.

They say to others around you,

"Hold my penis while I piss
on your underestimated expectations."

Again, Rosario Dawson.

Mr. Green, I am a computer...

Coming with it.

There was a whole
elevator malfunctioning scene

in that part that we cut out.

There was this whole
interrogation scene

that, uh, we didn't shoot...

that came up in that one,
but cut that out.

2:00 p.m.

Almost breakfast time in Japan.

Oh, okay.

- Moshi moshi.
- Mr. Son.

Cassius Green
at WorryFree calling.

Sorry to bother you.

I'm calling about
who is assembling your phone.

Now I know
they're being made in China...

And I didn't say it before,

but David Cross is doing...

when I found out
you acquired Tanrio.

Lakeith's voice.

David Cross is doing Cassius's voice,

and Patton Oswalt is doing...

Mr. Blank's voice.

I will say "Mr. Blank,"
but that's not how you spell it.

Power Callers,
our very own Cassius Green

just made our client, WorryFree,
upwards of$10 million

in one call
on his first day nonetheless.

Oh, it's not that much.

Indeed one for the history books.


Excuse me for a second.

What can I do for you, chum?

Yes, I have a question...

This next scene coming up...

And don't ask me
about Mr. Blank's apple.

But this next scene coming up is...

maybe one of my favorite
sequences in the movie.

One of them.

The red to the red.

God. You know,
look at Terry's buff wife,

like he's buff.

Some of these things
are very simple things,

but just putting them together in a way

that feels like a reveal
and having a rhythm to it.

And obviously helped out
by the amazing music

that Tune-Yards has for this.

Boom. Have the sheets cut,
with that on.



And the bed gets wider.

There was another move
that we just couldn't pull off,

which was the wall
of the other place being here

and then getting pulled back.

We just weren't able to make it work.

Maybe I shouldn't have told you that,
but I just wanted to be real with you.

Because this came out really good.

That's Damion Gallegos,

uh, who co-produced
the soundtrack with me,

and co-produced
the last Coup album with me.

He's a funny dude in real life.

This was the scene yesterday

at the RegalView
Telemarketers' strike.

The striking RegalView workers are joined

by other telemarketers,
phone operators,

and university students
from all over the area.

After a long day of hardy-ass
work, you feel me?

We ready to eat.
This is where...

I think that
if there was a WorryFree,

there probably would be, you know,

some sort of show like this

trying to make you feel
like it was normal.

That's Lyrics Born.

What do we want?
We want enough money...

And that's Steven Yeun.

We want enough money to not eat
Cup O' Noodles every night!

I'm sick of Cup O' Noodles!

Really like this scene myself.

When we get drunk one night!

I always kept telling Lakeith

that he's really good at watching TV.

Like, you can keep the camera
on him watching TV

and you feel a certain way.

Fuck RegalView!

Fuck RegalView!

Fuck RegalView!

Fuck RegalView! Fuck RegalView!

Fuck RegalView! Fuck RegalView!

Fuck RegalView!

And fuck chlamydia, too.

Although strikers have kept
most replacement workers...

Yeah, that's, um...

I always wonder if people recognize
that that's Cassius in the red suit.

That's why we put him in the red suit.

Although, that red suit was awesome
and always...

It kind of got put in that right there,

and I didn't see how awesome it was.

We didn't have time to change him

because he really
should've been going through

most of the movie in that red suit.

Hey baby. Good morning.

You live and you learn.

Please no! Stop with that
stupid voice, Cassius.

Didn't even realize I was doing it.


That's a problem, you know.


So, at one point
at the Sundance labs,

I was talking to this guy Karim Ainouz,

and he was an adviser.

And he said to me,

"You know, I really love
your lead character.

"I really love Cassius.
I wanna take care of him.

"I wanna have a drink with him.

I wanna hang out with him.
I wanna hug him."

And he said,
"That's how I know it's bullshit,

because I hate everybody."

And what...

And we ended up having this
two or three-hour conversation

about people in our lives...

But they should be! I'm so tired...

What caused them
to make different decisions

and how they were about it.

And I realized that up until that point,

I had all the same things
happening in the script,

but I had it all happening to Cassius.

I had him like a pinball
that was getting slapped around.

And that conversation
made me change the script

and give him agency
and make him make the choices

and be proud of the choices that he made.

Because that's more true to life.

You know? Yeah, we do think
about those things

and have hangups about them,

but very often, um, people make
the choices

they think they're supposed to make

and then dig in their heels more
when they get...

you know, challenged on it.

And the first thing
that changed was this scene.

- What you doing?
- I'm taking them.

- I'm cold.
- I'm not playing, Cassius!

- You're being greedy.
- Don't play with me!

This apartment is my boy
Victor Kali's apartment.

He gave it to us for free.

We were in there for two days.

Amazing dude, which it also happened
to be an art gallery. So...

You know, it's his house,
but he also uses it as an art gallery,

so we didn't have to do much to it.

Cassius, the old you
was way more interesting.

If you go to work today at RegalView

crossing the picket line...

we're done.

Scabs won't pass!
Scabs won't pass!

Assholes and elbows, people! Let's go!


Yeah, that one was hard.

There's violence on all sides in this

'cause it's the way the world is.

If you are gonna have a strike,

only way it's gonna work
is if you don't let scabs in.

Um, and the other side knows this too.

So there's violence on all those sides.

Let's give it up for the boy wonder!


Yeah, yeah, yeah! Some
for the homeys and some for me.

That line
was improvised by Lakeith.

We hunted mammoths. Yeah!

Douse him!
Douse our winner with champagne!

Her art show is called
The New Fuck You,

which is the title of a
Street Sweeper Social Club song.

Which is... Street Sweeper Social Club
is a group with me and Tom Morello.

Right here, this is
a beautiful work of lighting

by our lighting guy Drew Nelson.

Scabs won't pass!

Scabs won't pass!
Scabs won't pass!

Scabs won't pass!

Scabs won't pass!
Scabs won't pass!

In this scene coming up right here,

or this thing that happens
is basically kind of, uh...

I got the idea for this in the script

because we used to go
and fight the Nazis.

And I mean, the literal Nazis.

We also fought white supremacists,

but there were neo-Nazis,
I guess literal neo-Nazis,

and they would come and have rallies.

And one time, they were having a rally
in Union Square in the early '90s,

and me and some friends took

a bunch of cans and shook them up.

Call me.
Million dollar question...

Look at the artwork on his wall

versus the graph on the other wall.

It's making a statement.

There's all sorts of little statements
in the production design that we do.

Fudge all that.


Steve Lift is throwing his yearly party.

This magazine is also
another cool thing

that art department made up.

A great photoshoot with Armie Hammer

that yielded some other pictures that...

we didn't get to use
that were, nevertheless, great.

This music playing right here

is not being released
on the initial soundtrack,

but possibly we may release
the rest of the soundtrack.

Beauty, love and laughter...

Maybe it'll come out
with this DVD. Who knows?

I realize you were
asking about a specific...


Tessa Thompson being overdubbed
by Lily James.

You know what?
Will you please excuse me just a moment?

And that's actually Victor Kali
that she was just talking to,

who owned...

the spot.

In this movie...

the extras are all friends
and family and I...

It's just good that I have

a lot of friends and family in Oakland.

And that way,
they can be directed more.

All right. I have to go get
ready for my performance.

You should really stay
and see it, okay?

Her earrings, "You're gonna have
to fight your own damn war."

- It's important.
- A slave auctioneer's party?

- Hey.
- Yo, what's up?

Thank you for coming.

I wouldn't miss this for the world.

You always know
just what to say, huh?

I literally just said that.

I hope you stay.

Yo, is the reason why you don't call me
no more is cause, uh, you're a sellout,

or cause you're just a star?

What're you talking about?

Eleven million views, man.

The space that this is in

is the old Best Music.

People didn't understand that.

That's Indigo Jackson again
as Cynthia Rose.

But the old Best Music in Oakland

which is, uh, was the place that...

was the place you had to come
to get instruments,

and it closed down some years ago.

So it's really cool that we were able

to use it as the gallery.

Welcome friends.

Bunch of her Left Eye friends in yellow.

Tonight, we will have
a transformative experience.

In those containers...

All amazing artists in Left Eye,
Bay Area artists,

in either visual

or, uh, music ways.

Her outfit right here is an homage

to Prince itself. Right here.

There's a lot of little Prince things
in this movie.

Cynthia Rose, the earrings, this.

It was like Dirty Mind, right here.

Movie entitled The Last Dragon.

I will recite those lines that
Angela says to Eddie Arkadian

as she leaves him.

Let's begin.

The Last Dragon was
a very important, uh...

movie to me.
I remember watching it in a theater

that we picked specifically

because the movies
that we used to like to watch

were where we picked crowds

where there were funny people in it.

We would look for those crowds.

And in high school,
we went to see The Last Dragon

in one of those theaters
which was called The Parkway.

Not The New Parkway,

but the old Parkway,
I guess, on Park Boulevard,

down near East 18th.

And I remember there's a scene
in there with, uh...

with Sho'nuff at the theater in there,

where I thought that that theater

was just an exaggerated version

of the theater we were
watching the movie in.

The guy that just threw that last balloon

was Githinji Wa Mbire

who also goes by Omiroo,

the artist that did the Africas.

And also getting by on my tits!

Hey, hey! Stop!

What the fuck is this?

This was a hard scene
for everybody in the room

to, um, watch.

- "Stick to the script."
- No.

Don't you have a party to get to, Cash?


Go, Cash.

Some people don't know
that her voice

was overdubbed in that part.


even though Lily James
has a British accent,

the timbre of her and Tessa's voices
are very similar.

And in the end, Eddie...

Yeah, um, Armie is a fool for that.

Um, he had to sign a waiver
in order to do that scene.

Well, I guess you're all wondering
why I've called this meeting.

Originally, that line,
"I guess you're all wondering

why I've called this meeting"

was a recurring bad joke
that, uh, came up.

It was a joke that my father
would always do,

and so I put it all
throughout the thing.

But I realized it wasn't...

as funny to everybody,

but it really worked right there.

Stick around because, uh,

I think a lot of these bitches
are gonna be getting naked.

Look at the woman
who just fell down back there.

That was funny.

Um, that was real, though.

It worked.

It's a pleasure to meet you.
An honor even, sir.

Look at the...

Ah, yeah. How you doing, man?
You all right?

I'm really well, thank you.
Thank you for inviting us.

The wallpaper.

I mean, it's not wallpaper.

The tapestry on the walls right there.

- Oh. Uh, Steve?
- I never said "Steve."

Pretty damn crazy.


This place is called Spring Mansion

in Berkeley that we used.

- I'm fucking kidding with you, man!
- Ow! Ow!

You can call me whatever you want,
you keep closing those deals.

You must be like a fucking genius.

In this part,

what Armie is doing here,

what Steve Lift is doing is...

It's people like you that are
gonna save this nation.

Looking at... is looking at
different parts of Cassius' body,

in between his sentences,

and deciding whether Cassius
could kill him with it or not.

Like a cunning raccoon.

Like a snake.

Or like a tardigrade.


Go, I'll lock up.

Great performance tonight, D!

I told you, you didn't have
to do that, really.

No, it's my pleasure.
This is good.

We're about to come up
to one of the most

stupidly controversial scenes
in the movie.

There were people that were more...

Not everybody, but some people...

the people that didn't like this

were more mad about this happening

than they were
about Cassius selling slaves.

All right. Shh,
you can tell me later.

But fuck 'em.

That's a joke, whatever.

Everybody has different opinions.

We'll talk about it more.

Crushed, bloody body of my
now inconveniently deceased guide, right?

And just as I get this thing out,
I spin around...

So this constant critique of art

and implying myself in it as well.

Fucker took two mags to the head.

Turned that bitch into a trophy.

Yeah, um, Omari Hardwick
took that rhino

after the thing as his wrap present.

So he has it, apparently,
in his living room.

Come on.

I want to hear about some of
that Oakland gangster shit, man.


- Just right here? Just sit down?
- Yeah, yeah.



Very proud of this scene
and the way it looks.

By the way, of course
the way this looks

is so much to do with Doug Emmett

and his, you know, his amazing...

I keep using the word "amazing"
'cause it's so used.

But anyway, his very skillful
and thoughtful way

of framing something.

And often we'd have back and forths,

and, uh... he'd just one-up
whatever idea I had.

It was good.
It was like cranking the thing up,

that idea up that I had
and being like, "Well, look",

"if we just pull it a little bit
more this way, that'd be cool."

Now this scene,
when I originally wrote the movie,

uh, I mean, when I got to this scene.

'Cause I took the journey with Cassius.

I didn't know exactly everything
that was gonna happen.

I thought that this would be
his turning point.

And when I wrote it,
I realized it didn't make sense

for it to be his turning point.

But it was funny.

I mean, things that are painful
are also really funny.

I think that contradiction and irony...

And pain are very much related.

And in comedy, of course.

So, you know,
some people were saying that

they were feeling weird
about laughing about this, but...

You know, um,

in Richard Pryor's Pryor Convictions,

he starts off each chapter

with one of his hilarious comedy bits.

And that's the first page.

The rest of it is all the painful,
crazy stuff that he went through.

The stuff that might
make you cry to read it,

that created that comedy bit.

This shot, we, uh...

if you look at it,
you'll see the sun is coming up,

which kind of works,
kind of makes sense, but...

we had to go, we had to wrap,
and the sun was coming up.

So we only had two takes of this.

And we put out a call for people

who were down to get naked
and be in a sex scene.

But in the Bay Area,
you're not just gonna find people

that are already ready to go, but we did.

Go through that big-ass foyer.

Go through the door next to the stairs.

Go down the other stairs, hang a left.

Go to the end of the hallway,
then make a right.

You'll see it.

Big magenta colored doors
at the end of the hall.

This was important
that we waited till now

to have Mr. Blank finally speak.

We just thrive in
what is and what is...

So what he says is his philosophy.

Which is a lot of people's philosophy

about why they're doing
what they're doing

and not helping to change
the way things are.

It's a natural thing to come to,
that conclusion,

if you have no idea
that there's a movement

that can actually do something.

Students of UC Berkeley
might actually recognize

these hallways as the faculty lounge.

Not the faculty lounge, the faculty club.

We, uh...

shot 61 locations in 28 days
on this movie.

So we were moving fast.

Heads up.

There was originally much more

that was supposed to go into this office,

I think... but we did not have the time...

and ran out of money

to do some of the things I wanted to do.

But I think we got
the perfect amount done.

Fuck it.

Next time you watch it,

watch it while noticing the paintings
that are behind him.

Ah! Fuck! It's strong.

They actually sold
those plates online.

And I wanna listen
to your proposition, Stevie.

I want you at WorryFree.

I see something in you.

I think that you are more than just

the world's greatest telemarketer
since "Hal Jameson."

Um, Armie's idea
for his... the fangs on his beard

was supposed to be, uh...

mimicking his agent.

I don't know who that is.

Armie's only, like, 31 years old,

but in here, um,
he's able to look older.

So, like I said,

originally, I thought that
the performance,

the rap performance
would be his turning point,

but I realize in a world where

there's literal slave labor being sold
and he's one of the people selling them,

and that slave labor
is accepted in the world,

how could that be his turning point?

Oh, they're racist and that's enough?

No, I realized we...
he needed something

to shake him to his mortal core,

to make him see who he was.

Cause that's what the rap
performance scene was supposed to do,

was to make him see who he was.

And this...

No! No, I can't. Sorry.

Is also supposed to be someone...
something to make him see who he was,

but in a way that shook him
out of that world enough...


For him to see.

And so, as I decided to write this,
I really asked myself,

"Are you really gonna do this?"

And I was like, yep.

- Help me!
- Fuck!

Help me!

Help me!

I knew that
it had to be done right

or it would seem like a joke.

So we got Amalgamated
Dynamics Incorporated.

Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis,

the ones who did the creature effects

for Alien vs. Predator to do it.

I said the jade door!

And actually, Tom Woodruff...

No, that's an olive door.
That's very clearly...

Who was an alien in Alien vs. Predator,

was in a suit for this one.

Let's just take a deep breath.

It's actually just one suit
with four different heads and different...

We shifted around the hair patches

and the, uh, tattoos to make them...

and then shaded them different
to make them seem different.

And Tom Woodruff is in all of them.

You went in there,
you wouldn't even be scared.

What the fuck was that thing?

I would say that
all of these characters

are like me in certain ways,

and definitely this is the way
Steve Lift is like me.

I like to force my friends
to watch movies

they don't want to watch.

There's a lot
of production value in this.

This is not actually done
by Michel Dongry

or Michel Gondry.

It is done by Ri Crawford and David Lauer,

two folks that do stop-motion animation,

um, a lot for times for Tippett Studios,

but this they did on their own.

And, um, my involvement
was in the animatic stage.

I worked with them back
and forth on the animatic,

which is the drawing... the drawing version
of all of this stuff,

which is slightly animated
in the computer.

And while we were actually shooting,
this was being shot.

And they did this in just
a couple of weeks

after the animatics...
after the stuff was...

the things were made.

So it's not... Some people
thought it was claymation.

It's not actually claymation.

They molded the figures.

In the script, it's pretty...

a lot of this stuff is written in there.

We did, obviously, edit stuff down

so they would have less work to do.

Human productivity is dawning.

Our workforce of equisapiens...

Yeah, these are actual... they poured...

um, into the molds

and made figures around,
uh, around wire frames

that could be posed.

There's no fucking
misunderstanding, man!

So you're making half-human
half-horse fucking things...

For some reason,
I love that picture

of Lakeith with his hands open.

I just didn't want you
to think I was crazy.

That I was doing this for no reason,
because this isn't irrational.


Cool. All right.

Cool. No, I understand.

I just... I just got to leave now, man.

So, please get the fuck
out of my way.

You haven't finished the movie.

Call me about that next week,
please, and then we'll... we'll talk.

You're gonna sit in that chair

and we're gonna watch this movie.

And then I'm gonna make you a proposal.

Yeah, again,

I really relate to me trying to
get people to watch movies.

They really don't understand
how important the movie is

I'm gonna show them.

It works for 70 percent of humans

who take the fusing catalyst.

And again, the animatic
of the other thing

pretty much had to match
frame by frame...

frame for frame...
so that they could do it right.

What the... what the fuck was that?

- Wait, what?
- What did I snort?

- Cause I'm not even fucking high.
- You're not what?

Wait, wait, wait. Wait. Wait.

No, no, no, I don't give a fuck
about that anymore, all right?

I don't give a fuck about that shit.

If you had me snort some shit
that's gonna have me mutated, man...

This scene here is actually

one that we did in the labs, too.

I need you to be a little bit
more particular, man!

So, it was...

That... that was really good to do, uh,

kind of test it out even with other actors

to kind of get a sense of...

where you thought you were going
to have to keep it going at,

where you thought
you were gonna need

to invent ways to make it
interesting, visually.

Is because your adrenaline
is pumping so hard right now,

that, to be perfectly honest, you're
starting to harsh both of our mellows.

Okay? So sit down and just...

That was
an interesting discussion,

'cause it used to be "harsh your buzz."

He changed it to "harsh your mellow,"

um, and "harsh both of our mellows."

It was something he asked for
that I gave in on

that I think he was right about.

It's a little funnier that way.

I don't know, 'cause
we didn't say "harsh your buzz,"

so, who knows?

I'm gonna have millions of 'em.

This is fucking crazy.

They're gonna form their own society.

They'll probably form their own culture.

Then maybe they wanna organize.

Maybe they wanna rebel.

And that's why we need
someone on the inside

who represents WorryFree's needs.

I like how he's about
to say "interests"

and changes it to "needs."

- For fucking horse people.
- No. No...

And you kinda see
how someone is thinking.

Equisapien Martin Luther King, Jr.

Again, beautiful, chilling score

by Tune-Yards happening right here.

I mean, all the score
is by Tune-Yards, but...

Yeah, keep shit simple.

Fuck, man.

Well, why the fuck
did you choose me?

Out of everybody you could've chose,
why did you pick me? For what?

Cash, Cash.

This was a shot I knew was
in the movie when I wrote it.

I've never seen anyone go
through the ranks

at RegalView like you did. Hmm?

And I want someone like that
at WorryFree.

It's kinda symmetrical, kinda...

This is probably like
the most Wes Anderson shot

we have in the movie.

I can see that you're freaked out,

and that you want to say no.

But I wouldn't do that before
you see what I'm offering.

No, man. No, no.

There's no fucking amount of money
that'll make me do that shit.

Two things.

One, it's a short-term contract.

Five years, done.

Then we give you the diffuser antidote
special sauce serum...

Yeah, that diffuser
antidote special sauce serum,

that was something that was hard
for people to remember.

You're gonna have a horse cock.

What the fuck is a special antidote
sauce serum? What the...

It sounds like you made that shit up, man.
That shit ain't real.

No, it's real.

And so is my offer.

Five years as our man amongst horses

for $100 million.

Just go sleep on it, okay?

And after that,
holla at your boy. Okay?

Get out in that party
and go fuck something.

This is the Cathedral Building
in Oakland,

which is where their apartment is.

We were lucky to get
this spot because...

it's such a well-known spot.

Oh, fuck. Fuck.

Again, you stay
on Lakeith's face,

and it's so expressive
but in ways that...

aren't very normal for other actors.

A lot of what he does...

is just making sure
that he is emotionally there.

He's not making sure that
his face looks a certain way,

and that he emotes a certain thing.

That's not what he's doing.

Which, uh, I don't know,
I've never directed a play,

but I imagine that often it's what, uh,

theater actors might be doing on stage,

'cause you have to do that
a little bit more.

But he's just making sure
that he's emotionally there,

and then, I think everything
else comes from there.

And so, uh, he ends up emoting
in a more natural way.


What're you talking about?
No, Cassius.

Cassius Green.

He's talking to Eric Arnold

who's an actual writer.

That's the Yuka lady actually.

She's playing this character on there.

Have-a-Cola-and-smile-bitch wig.

Fuck! Where the fuck
is my cellphone?

And the strangest thing
to happen in advertising history,

Soda Cola has announced
working with Cynthia Rose,

the foul-mouthed heroine
with perfect aim

from the "Cola-and-Smile-Bitch"
YouTube clip.

Rose reportedly signed
for an amount of money

that could buy four white babies.

The strikebreaker
who was hilariously...

This was, uh, fun.

That's Gabby La La, my baby mama.

I got a little worried, you know.

Because I was looking at it
maybe from up here.

But that it might be different.

Um, this guy was one of my doctors.

No, no. It's the same size.

Again, that's a outfit, uh, collaboration

between Deirdre Govan and Omiroo.

What is up with you, Cash?

You left a video message.

I didn't check it because
I assumed it was lewd as fuck

- and I wasn't trying to do that...
- Can I see that?

Omiroo painted all over it.

Matter of fact, because
he's painting all the time,

a lot of the times,
his clothes end up looking

exactly like that by accident.

We're hurting! Help us! Help us!

Get back in there! Get in there!

Please, help us!

We're hurting!

Security code cleared.

I always thought we messed up
when we showed her phone

'cause I felt like Detroit's phone case

would've been
way more decorated than that.

This, uh...

The shots that happen here,
um, from longer away,

were really inspired.

Looked for this shot
because of some stuff

in One from the Heart where they do...

In Francis Ford Coppola's
One from the Heart

where they do a lot of stuff
with reflection.

The scene... the shot doesn't look anything
like One from the Heart,

but it just gave me
the idea of the reflection.

We found this spot which was
right by the Cathedral Building.

Relax a little bit so I can see.

Okay, okay.
They're the normal size.

They look normal sized.
They look normal sized.

You are okay.

And, um...

This song right here

that's playing, um, in the background,

has, uh, me,

Silk-E, who's also
in The Coup, and Janelle Monae.

- I still have problems with all this.
- I'm not...

Only something happening to you
turned you against them.

Okay. But I know how they view me.

How I look in the eyes of
fucking WorryFree and RegalView.

They just view me as another one
of their fucking creatures...

The lighting
in this scene is very different

from anything else in the movie,

but it's also a mood that
we haven't had in the movie.

That doesn't change what I said about us.

And also, I kinda messed around
with somebody last night.

What? Wait.

What do you mean you kinda...

I need you to explain that one,
'cause I don't understand...

And right here
is a shot of Lakeith's ass.

But that shot was probably
the quickest one that there was.

There was one that was longer.

'Cause I really felt like
you have to see...

Like, for it to feel real, you need to see

people just bare as possible.

But, um, the other shots that took longer

just didn't fit in here.

Anyway, this is, uh...

the part where people like,
"Why did this happen?"

And, um, the truth is is that

her dude that she was down with

was totally against everything
she was for all of a sudden

and, um, didn't...

and was selling slaves
and came and interrupted her art show.

She went for somebody
that was way closer

to what she was about.

"Tell Homeland Security
we are the bomb."

That's a quote from a Coup lyric

from the song "The Magic Clap,"

and also the title of a book of my lyrics.

For those of you
that maybe don't know,

I am also the lead vocalist
and producer of The Coup.

That's Mistah F.A.B.

Rolling up, Mistah F.A.B.

Bay Area legend.

What the fuck, man?

For you lying!

This was a fun
and interesting scene to shoot.

Maybe first stunt.

That's all right.

Happens to the best of us.

Walk it off!

The ADR. On that was very helpful.

This is Cassius Green
from "Have a Cola and smile, bitch" fame.

I want to be on your show tomorrow.

Fake Cassius and Cynthia Rose.

I got the shit kicked out of me!

Today, YouTube sensation
Cassius Green is here.

You had 500 million people

watch you get pegged to the noggin
and get utterly humiliated.

It was effing hilarious.

The way your hair went up like that!

The whole world is laughing
till they pissed.

Well, I got a new clip
that I need you to play.

And the only reason I came on this show

was because you agreed to show this clip

to your 150 million viewers.

Well, If you want some ass,
you have to bring some ass.

So get ready for an ass-whupping,

then jump in the shit tank,

then we'll play your clip.

Went through a lot
on the sound for that.

That was the actual
regular "that's all, folks."

Okay. Is it as crazy as
the Cola-and-a-smile-bitch clip?

Not possible!

It's crazy, Mary.
It's fucking crazy.

Woo-hoo! Let's roll the clip.

Cake batter.

We're hurting! We're hurting!

If you beautiful perversions
don't shut the fuck up,

I will turn you all to glue!

As a Power Caller for RegalView,
WorryFree was my premier client.

This is just incontrovertible proof

of WorryFree's evil practices.

They're turning humans
into grotesque horse-people.

And I want the world to know

that... that they are
manipulating humanity

for the sake of profit.

Now, we cannot let this go on!

You know, a lot of times
the idea in movies is

if you expose the problem,
that's the end of it.

Like, the end of it is
"Wow, they exposed the problem."

In, you know,
most movies, Steve Lift

would be going off to jail
because of it.

But that's not... I don't believe
that's how it works in the real world.

So, it didn't happen
like that in this world.

To celebrate
the record stock market rally.

- WorryFree's success has created.
- Fuck you!

And, you know,

that's also the conversation about art.

A lot of times,
the idea with an artist is,

"I'm doing my job.
I'm exposing the bullshit."

And that's not enough.

You got to connect with folks.

At least connect with folks that are...

trying to make some material
changes in the situation,

and that are organizing.

Everybody can't just be, like,
saying what the problem is,

and that includes artists.

If you are an artist and you just expose
what the problem is,

you don't even know the exact
right problem to expose.

You don't even know the question
that folks are having.

As Squeeze talks about here,
people know what the problem is.

But if all we're doing
is saying what the problem is,

but not connecting it
to how we can change stuff,

then we're just adding to it.

We're just proving the point
to the powers that be

that, "Yeah,
there's a lot of problems",

and you can't do anything about it."

It's important.

If you can stop them
from crossing the picket lines...

But the key is to...

- That's a good plan.
- Yeah.

Have a way to change things.

And if you don't have them,

join with folks that are, um,

actively trying to do those things.

You see that shit?
What the fuck is that about?

What the fuck, man?

That's what I'm talking about.

And with mass organizations.

Spring Mansion.

Security code cleared.

Fuck you, RegalView!
Fuck you, RegalView!

None of the strikers here
at the RegalView strike

will tell us why they're all wearing

their Cola-and-smile-bitch wigs.

Although the strikers
have been extremely militant

over the past weeks,

they've not been able to stop
the Stackwater juggernaut

from breaking through the lines.

Scabs won't pass!
Scabs won't pass!

Scabs won't pass!

When I shot the movie...

shooting everyone with the
and-smile-bitch wigs

was the time when I was like,
"Oh, my god,

we're making a very strange movie."

This is the one sequence

that I wish we had more time to shoot.

We didn't really, uh...

have the shots to build
the things we needed to.

We're telling the story
but, uh, in my mind,

I understand how we could

have made you feel the story

of that sequence a little bit more.

But who knows?
Maybe it would've opened up

a different can of worms
spending too much time on that.

- Yeah, man!
- Yeah!

Like I said, we were able to get...

we got so many people from Oakland...

in it.

Hup, hup, hup, hup,
hup, hup, hup, hup.

Looks like the cavalry has arrived, folks.

Hup, hup, hup, hup...

Private mercenaries.

Private security, corporate security.

Get the fuck back! Move!

This way. This way.

Come on!

All right! All right!

Over here, over here.

This is when the magic happens.

Get them here quick!

Right about... now,

you will hear the voice
of our editor, Terel Gibson.

Terel Gibson...

is... is an editor

whose name you will probably
start hearing a lot more of now.

He and I sat in a room
four days a week

for 10 hours a day...

Let me out!

For about...

uh, 10 weeks.

Maybe 11 weeks including the time

we went back and did stuff to it.

And each week he did
an extra day by himself

without me around to mess with him

because during that time...

Wait a minute. Yeah. Here we go.

Equisapiens coming to help out.

Anyway, um, during that time,
on those three-day weekends,

I was working on the soundtrack,
The Coup's portion of this.

And as you hear right now,

more beautiful score by Tune-Yards.

There are two musical worlds
in this movie.

One being the score,

which is all the stuff
that the film is saying to you.

I guess we should talk
about the penises.

And for me,
it made it way more real...

to not have them covered up
right there.

To be wearing like the Hulk

or, like, a loin cloth
or something like that.

Then it becomes like
Land of the Lost,

or something like that.

But it made it feel more... much more human

to show genitals.

WorryFree is here.

Hey, same struggle.

You know,
to have them with tattoos

and things like that
that made you think of people.

And they're only men

because we only really had one suit.



I love this moment and the music
that Tune-Yards made for it,

which was kind of Brazilian inspired...

Or not Brazilian.

More like Italian inspired.

It didn't come out that way
but that's...

kind of where it seemed to come from.

Are you serious right now?

Serious as cake in a can, man.

Don't... don't play with me, Cash...

This scene was actually
the first scene

that Jermaine Fowler
and Lakeith shot together.

They had just met each other,
like, 20 minutes before.

Plus, I wanted to say I'm sorry.


their connection
was so real right here.

This is good. This is...

I mean, in the sense that they open
themselves up to connect.

Because my whole thing was...

I almost took this scene out.

I was like, "Wait a minute.
Maybe it doesn't make sense"

that he gives his...
he gives Sal this Maserati."

I said, "It doesn't make sense
unless they're like brothers."

Like, and you guys have
to really show us that."

And so, that hug that they gave
really felt special,

and the way that they were
looking at each other.

Kiss already, y'all.

So, what about being a part
of something important, huh?

Here we have
the sun literally setting.

It's a beautiful happy ending
right now

that most movies would end at...

or some version of that.

Notice her earrings say
Bella Ciao.

Bella ciao is also a song lyric

of a famous Italian revolutionary song

that, uh, is about someone

going off to fight the fascists tomorrow,

and this is their last night together.

What happened?

What, Cash?

Hmm. So maybe
Cassius is going off to fight.

That's my name. That's the title.

There are reasons that
Steve Lift is limping there.

I'm Cassius Green
calling on behalf

Sorry to bother you.

That's the end.
Lakeith Stanfield, he's in it.

So is Tessa Thompson.

Jermaine Fowler's definitely in it.

Omari Hardwick's really in it.

Terry Crews.

Kate Berlant,
Michael X. Sommers.

Danny motherfucking Glover.

Steven Yeun, he smokes weed.

Armie Hammer.

That's me.
I wrote and directed it.

Nina Yang Bongiovi,
Forest Whitaker.

Charles King.
I'm just reading for you.

Produced by George Rush,
Jonathan Duffy,

and Kelly Williams.

Executive pro...
Oh, my god, it's going too fast.

I don't read fast or talk fast.

All these people really helped
make this movie happen.

Brian Benson. Doug Emmett,
Director of Photography.

Eyde Belasco, Terel Gibson.

Deirdra Elizabeth Govan. I didn't...

She does not use that word
in formal times.

She does not call herself
Deirdra Elizabeth

when you meet her in person.

I'm gonna ask her about that.

Annapurna Pictures.
They came and bought this

and put it out to the world.

This is why
you're now getting it on DVD

because you saw it
in a crowded theater of course.

All these folks really, um...

came and helped make
this dream come true.

It's something I worked on
for many years.

And, uh...

And many times told myself
it was gonna happen

but did not know whether
I was lying to myself or not.

And the movie,
as you have now seen,

is really different than other things

that are out there.

Script supervisor Andy Manners.

I have to say that definitely
first-time feature directors,

you're gonna lean
on your script supervisor.

They are the person who's like,

you know,
who you can at least rely on

to tell you the truth, like,

"Okay, you're gonna need...
you're gonna need another shot of this."

Meaning, like, if you're worried
about any sort of coverage,

which, you know, being someone

who hadn't gone through
the editing process of a film,

um, it was good to have
someone like that

to make you feel like
you knew that you got it.

And so, give a shout-out
to Andy Manners.

There are many people
who are going by on this,

all... many of whom I love
and who helped make this happen

in really large ways.

This was not a movie that

many people thought
could get made,

you know.

And not only because
of the content,

which I didn't talk
a lot about right here

because you can probably see
any interview with me

and I'll talk your ear off
about the content of this.

But also because
of the narrative form,

and the, uh... idea

that it was doing multiple genres.

And even though I don't really
think in those terms,

and that I hadn't ever done
a feature film before.

I did talk about how I...

I did sell people on the fact
that I had been to film school

uh, twenty-something years ago,

but in reality, I didn't
remember any of that stuff.

But I did study hard
in between that time.

Thanks for watching this.

It's in memory of my mother
who died a few years ago,

Anitra Patterson,

and Pam the Funkstress,
The Coup's DJ,

who also died last year.

That's the title again. Thanks.