12 Years a Slave writer, John Ridley is finally speaking out about the rumored feud between the film’s director, Steve McQueen.
During a recent interview with HuffPost Live to promote his Jimi Hendrix biopic, All Is By My Side, Ridely opened up about his relationship with McQueen and why he failed to mention McQueen’s name during his Oscar’s acceptance speech.
“You got 30 seconds. Half of that was going to my wife,” Ridley explained. “Whatever time I had more was going to Solomon [Northup] and praising him. And then I wanted to make sure … You get in your parents, your mom, your dad … You never thank them my two sisters, my kids.”
Ridley added, “You can’t help people’s perceptions, but I am sorry that people perceived [a feud] because 24 hours earlier I was saying, ‘It was fun. And I am here because of him and because of his work and how he puts things together.”
Reports surfaced after the Oscar’s that the two men were feuding over credit for the screenplay. In another interview with Indiewire’s Anne Thompson, the Academy Award winner explained that the perceived fight between he and the British director was blown out of proportion.
“For both of us, I would have been happy to have Story By credit,” Ridely said. “Steve never tried to get an arbitration. A lot of people assume we wrote the script together every day for four years. The reality is that Steve lives in Amsterdam and I live in Los Angeles. We met a dozen times at most. I can’t say in all honesty that Steve and I had an opportunity to become super tight. It starts to bother me when the story becomes that we didn’t give each other foot massages. Steve was never not deferential to me and I hope I always expressed admiration for him, the cast and crew. Steve did a lot for me. I don’t know if Steve is upset. We got to have our moment. It was a beautiful moment for us.”
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