George Tillman Jr. on ‘The Hate U Give’

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The new movie ‘The Hate U Give’--based on Angie Thomas’s young adult novel of the same name--tells the story of Starr Carter, a smart, sneaker-loving 16-year-old who lives in a mostly black neighborhood. But at her mother’s insistence, she goes to a mostly white private school instead of the public school near home.

Starr’s divided world comes into even starker contrast when she sees her oldest childhood friend killed by a white police officer during a traffic stop

The shooting of yet another unarmed black youth grabs national attention. For a time, Starr tries to keep her name out of the news--until she’s moved to speak out--putting herself and her family at risk.

‘The Hate U Give’ is directed by George Tillman Jr., whose past films include ‘Soul Food’ and ‘Men of Honor.’ Growing up in Milwaukee in the 70’s, Tillman didn’t imagine he could ever live and work in Hollywood, though he was drawn to storytelling even as a child.

He tells us about writing to the soap opera ‘All My Children,’ the power of the history of cinema class he took at college in Chicago, and the long journey to making ‘Soul Food.’

Tillman also shares what drew him to ‘The Hate U Give,’ even though he wasn’t the target YA audience. And he tells us about having to recast one of actors in ‘The Hate U Give,’ after the entire film had already been shot, and why the movie ended up being better in the long run because of it.




Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker