Cary Fukunaga: ‘Girls distracted me from movies’

Cary Fukunaga admits “pursuing girls” distracted him from his love of film as a teenager.

The producer-and-director is behind Netflix movie Beast of No Nation starring Idris Elba, which has received rave reviews. Even as a child he was very passionate about expressing himself through screenplays, but there were some blips along the way.

“I started writing stories when I was nine or 10,” he revealed to Interview magazine. “I wrote my first screenplay-type document when I was 14, about these two brothers in the Civil War. I tried to make movies with my friends, but it was impossible because no one cared as much as I did. And I sort of went away from it for a while in high school and college, when I was pursuing sports and school and, I guess, girls.”

Around the age of 20, Cary suffered a knee injury and had to take some time out from sports. During this time he got into theatre and made up his mind: he wanted to make movies.

Beasts of No Nation tackles the tough subject of child soldiers, while his upcoming feature Nowhere Ever After focuses on an interracial family struggling to adapt after moving from New York to a small, predominantly white town. Cary has never shied away from big issues and the idea for Beasts was formed a long time ago.

“I was interested in the subject of child soldiers since college,” he explained. “And I’ve been wanting to make a movie about the war in Sierra Leone, specifically, for more than 15 years now. Making a film like this, to research it and live in that world during the process, definitely affects you. It’s not the same as having been there, experiencing the same thing the character has experienced, but there’s something about being associated with that imagery, with that information, that can, long term, affect your psyche.”

– Cover Media