It was late in the meal when I mentioned his reputation among other journalists. He held his chopsticks in his hand.
“What did they say?”
Steve McQueen is 44 years old, tall and robust; he wore a T-shirt beneath a lightweight sport jacket and dark slacks and large black-rimmed glasses. He is exacting in his ideas, and sometimes struggles to communicate exactly what he’s thinking (he has occasionally borrowed reporters’ pens and paper to help him articulate his thoughts). He is full of energy.
“That I’m difficult?” he asked.
I rattled off some other descriptions: “curt,” “combative,” “volatile,” “scornfully dismissive,” “bullish,” “arrogant.” He pondered it a bit more. He asked whether I had an idea why this reputation exists. I told him I was more interested in his. “It’s journalists getting uppity, and when I get uppity, they write this.” It was an easy caricature: They expect him to be “from the ghetto,” he said, “to behave a certain way.”
“Excuse me for saying it,” he said, “but I suppose it’s because I’m black.”
Edgar Wright behind the scenes of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Steve Mcqueen at the ‘12 Years a Slave’ Press Conference.
"I believe that Jack is one of the best actors in Hollywood, perhaps on a par with the greatest stars of the past like Spencer Tracy and James Cagney. I should think that he is on almost everyone’s first-choice list for any role which suits him. His work is always interesting, clearly conceived and has the X-factor, magic. Jack is particularly suited for roles which require intelligence. He is an intelligent and literate man, and these are qualities almost impossible to act. In The Shining, you believe he’s a writer, failed or otherwise.” - Stanley Kubrick
Joss Whedon & Mark Ruffalo on the set of The Avengers
Ridley Scott with Jeff Bridges on the set of White Squall
Steve McQueen while filming Shame (2011)
Francis Ford Coppola filming The Conversation (1974)
“Why do I want to do all this with Steve?” Fassbender mulled as he sat with the director sipping a glass of wine at a Beverly Hills hotel recently. “Because what’s massively evident and refreshing about [him] is that he has no rule book about making a film. He’ll never rule anything out.”
Sam Mendes on the set of Skyfall (2012)
Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen on the set of Shame (2011)