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HomeEntertainmentSidney Poitier Once Revealed Why It Was So Difficult To Direct Himself

Sidney Poitier Once Revealed Why It Was So Difficult To Direct Himself

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In an interview with Jim Whaley to promote the release of Sidney Poitier’s 1975 film “Let’s Do It Again,” Poitier shares his experience working as an actor and director. “The major difficulty in directing myself, is that I don’t listen to me often enough,” he says. “It’s difficult to keep focused on the job of acting while the same conciseness has to be involved in the responsibilities of directing.” 

Poitier then goes on to honestly, albeit somewhat insensitively, describe the mindset he adopts when pulling double duty. “If you are sufficiently schizophrenic you can do it because that’s the nature of schizophrenia,” he continues. “You are at one at the same time are able to divide your attention and be operating in what seems to be conflicting directions and areas and I am somewhat schizophrenically inclined and as such, I’m perfect for it.”

Poitier’s first directing job came with the 1972 Western, “Buck and the Preacher,” where he replaced the original director Joseph Sargent. This was largely reasoned to be due to creative differences between Sargent and stars Poitier and Harry Belafonte (via AFI). Following this, Poitier would direct more films throughout the 70s and 80s, his most significant being the 1980 film “Stir Crazy.” The Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder comedy would go on to gross over $100 million, making it the highest-grossing film directed by a black person up to that point, a title later taken by 2000’s “Scary Movie.” 

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