My grandmother had six kids – one died as an infant – and she was dirt-poor and all her kids got an education. And my mom grew up poor. And they both worked so hard and cultivated so much of their own happiness. I wanted to have that like an amulet. Not like armor but like a magic feather. Like Dumbo’s magic feather.
It absolutely helped – to write the father in both ‘Juicy’ and ‘Beasts’ I had to see the whole story from his point of view. All of a sudden I understood more of what my own father must be going through – the fear the frustration the anger… the hope that he’ll leave a legacy.
My dad doesn’t like religion much but I grew up very close to the Baptist tradition. God isn’t this distant thing. God is right here with you all the time. He’s your buddy and you can talk about everything.
My dad like many Southern men is this very emotionally expressive person who isn’t as articulate in words about his feelings as he is with breaking a chair or something like that.