I wanted to drive inspiring characters who felt low, like I did, who was in deep crisis, but by just sticking to it, they could prevail through a way that was almost entirely empathetic and not aggressive. We didn’t want the stereotypical musclebound hero with a gun. I was never a big Schwarzenegger or action fan. It never inspired me.
Stranger was a tough character with a different kind of dilemma. The reason he doesn’t like guns is because his whole life he’s been sought after and had to disguise himself. That was inspired by Malcolm X. He was an amazing figure and in the movie Spike Lee does this scene where he’s in prison and straightening his hair with acid. This older guy schools him and say that’s not him, he’s trying to be something he’s not. That’s a pivotal moment, where a strong, brilliant character feels so overwhelmed that he tries to be something else, but when he accepts who he is he becomes something amazing.
Worth reblogging Lanning’s stance on education through media.