Bryan Stevenson on Just Mercy, the film inspired by his life

bryan stevenson just mercy jamie foxx michael b jordan daniel destin cretton when they see us death penalty walter mcmillan

When [it was] proposed that a movie be made, to be honest I was apprehensive. I wasn’t confident that a Hollywood interpretation of the story would be appropriate – I’ve seen [similar] movies that, for me, were disappointing.

But when I met Destin [Daniel Cretton] our director, and when Michael B Jordan got involved, we all had a great conversation about it – and they were all aligned in trying to do this right, and that gave me the confidence to move forward.

This, I think, is perhaps the most nervous I’ve ever been before an interview – talking to actors, writers and directors is easy, but a “real” person, a civil rights lawyer with “real” life experiences? That felt like an entirely more momentous interview.

Luckily for me, though, Bryan Stevenson was a very friendly, and very assured, presence (which is not massively surprising, in hindsight), so I was very much put at ease throughout. Possibly you can tell, possibly not – I refuse to actually watch these video interviews, I find it much too awkward, so maybe I do look very nervous throughout. But I felt less nervous, which was good.

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