Lee Daniels is on top of the world now, but it wasn't too long ago that the A-list director hit rock bottom. The Hollywood A-lister opened up to Out magazine about his rough childhood, burning bridges and reveals a shocking memory of his first brush with the Academy Awards, when Monster's Ball (produced by Daniels) was up for several awards.
“It’s always when things are really good for me that I feel I’m not worthy of it,” he says. “When Halle [Berry] won her Oscar [for Monster’s Ball], I remember her calling, saying, ‘Are you going to the Vanity Fair party?’ and I’m strung out in the Chateau Marmont, methed out of my mind, thinking I didn’t deserve it.”
Daniels, a likely contender for an Academy Award for his latest film, The Butler, says he has learned to cope with his demons. “I have to be really aware of it, and always talking about it — and be truthful about it to the point of ugliness so that it keeps my a** in check.”
To read more of Daniels' heartwrenching, but ultimately triumphant, journey to the top (including the shade he once threw at Oprah Winfrey), check out the cover story here.
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(Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)