Ryan Coogler - A New Take on the "Rocky" Films in "Creed"

January 5, 2016 - Ryan Coogler 01/05/2016 Views: 9,217

"Creed" director Ryan Coogler explains his personal connection to the "Rocky" franchise and talks about the college professor who inspired him to become a filmmaker. (4:34)

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Please welcome Ryan Coogler.

-♪ -(cheers and applause)

Thank you very much.

(cheering, whooping)

Thank you so much!

This is great for so many people

to see the facebehind the films.

-Congratulations, by the way.-Aw, thanks, Trevor.

Creed is amazing.

-Thank you so much, man.-It really is.

-(cheers and applause)-No, it really is.

I'd like to take a momentand go back on this.

First of all,let's start with the fact

that you are just 29 years old.

-(indistinct audience shouts)-Yeah. 29 years old,

and already there's Oscar talkaround the film.

-Mm. -Is that...does that make you nervous?

Or is that just a...is that a humbling experience?

-What's that like for you?-It's humbling, man.

Like, with filmmaking,it's an art form

that you don't do on your own.You know, um...

you know, I saw severalcollaborators come and go.

I wrote the script with a buddyof mine, Aaron Covington,

I got to work with one mybest friends, Michael B. Jordan,

and it really feels like, um...it's just a blessing

-to be able to do this job,you know what I mean? -Yeah.

So to have people talk about,you know, your movies

at the interview for awardsand things like that

is just icing on the cake,to be honest.

My barber literally said to me,he was like...

he was cutting my hair, and he'slike, "Yo, man, you seen Creed?

You seen Creed?" and I was like, "No."

He's like, "Yo,that's the black Rocky, man."

He's like, "That's black Rocky for this generation."

Is that what you were settingout to do when you wrote it?

Because you...I read a fascinating story.

You wrote this film, youwere inspired by your father.

Yeah, absolutely. My dadwas a-was a huge Rocky fan.

Whenever you put these-these Rocky movies on,

he would cry.You know what I'm saying?

So-so I knew these movieshad a special, you know,

a special power over my dad.

And I-and I came to like 'embecause my dad liked 'em.

You know, I wanted to bejust like him.

And then, when I, uh,finished up film school,

my dad got sick.You know, um,

and he-and he startedto, you know, develop

a neuromuscular condition--when he was losing

his-his skeletal muscles, hebasically was becoming weaker.

-Right. -You know, um, and-andhad to help him from the car

to the house sometimes and-andall of a sudden, this dude

who was always so strongbecame-became weak,

and it really did a number onmy-on my psyche, you know?

Um, but then I came upwith this idea that-that maybe

if his hero, you know, wentthrough something similar,

you know, um, and there wasa young man

who formed a relationshipwith him, you know,

maybe it could be somethingthat my dad would-would be into.

Maybe it'll cheer him up,maybe it'll motivate him

to, uh, to-to fight through it.

That's beautiful, man,that's beaut... And how does...

how does a young black manfrom a rough neighborhood,

like you said,go into making films?

I mean, you-you said your dadwas an ex-football player.

You-you were goingto get into football.

-Yeah, I...-What changed?

Uh, I mean, school.

Uh, and I alwayshad great teachers.

And then I... I got a footballscholarship to a school called

Saint Mary's College and I hada teacher there, you know,

during my first year of school,read something that I wrote

and-and called me into heroffice and, uh,

and basically suggested that Iget into writing-writing movies,

'cause my writingwas real visual.

-W... (laughs)-Yeah.

No, no, I'm sorry,just the image for me--

'cause I watch a lot of movies--

just the image that a footballplayer gets called in

and the teacher goes,"You need to write more."


You, uh, you shouldquit football

and, uh, you shouldwrite more. That's...

So you-you went straight intothat? You didn't... I mean...

I laughed at her up in thecla... in the, you know,

while we were sitting in theoffice, I thought she was crazy

at first. I was... You know,I thought I was in trouble

when she called meinto her office.

-Yeah, I would-I wouldthink that, too. -Yeah.

-That's what I would think.-Yeah, I'll never forget--

she called and she was like,"Hey, you"... You know,

she called me at my dorm room,I was in the dorm room

with my friends. She was like,"Hey, are you busy right now?"

And I'm like, "Uh..." You know,I couldn't-I couldn't lie,

'cause I'm in the dorm room,you know. Uh...

-So I was... so I was, like...-I like how you said, like,

-there's no lies in dorm rooms.-Yeah. (laughs)

I couldn't lie 'cause I wasin a dorm room.

No, but she knew-she knewwhere I was, you know?

-Yeah, yeah, yeah.-You know-you know what I mean?

She could, like, walk down fromher office and knock on the door

if she wanted to. So she said,"I want you to come by...

come by my office hoursright now."

So I had to kick all my partnersout the room, like, I got to go.

I-I... You know,maybe the teacher, like...

Now, I remem... I can't rememberwhat I wrote about, to be...

Oh, it was... the story wasactually about my dad,

-crazy enough.-Yeah.

You know, and, um, I thoughtmaybe, 'cause it was something

that... cra-crazy that happened,I thought maybe she was like,

"Hey, you know, you needto see a psychiatrist.

What you writing about?"Something, you know.

Or-or like, or like, you know,or I'm-or I'm gonna

get to the... or I'm gonnaget to her office,

it's gonna be, like,like, the dean is...

like, the policethere waiting for me.

Like, "Hey, man,you know, truth's out,

you gonna be out of here."But I-but I, you know,

I went in there and it wasRosemary Graham,

and it was just her.You know, and she-she, you know,

she sat me down and asked whatI wanted to be when I grew up.

You know, and I had-I hadno idea, really, at the time.

Um, and-and, you know,she suggested that I-that I

get into, you know,writing screenplays.

Doing amazing things.Thank you so much.

-I appreciate it. -Creed isamazing, Fruitvale is amazing.

-You're amazing, my friend.-Oh, thank you, Trevor.

Thank you so much. Creed, in theatres now.

Watch Fruitvale if you haven't.Ryan Coogler, everybody.

-♪ -Thank you so much.

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