If you sort of treat the environment in sort of this mechanical, industrial way that there's a disconnect between man and the environment, it's very easy to treat people that way.
There is definitely places in America where, if you're born into that environment, your chances of getting out are really, really limited.
I went from being 'Mario who?' to 'Mario baby!
We think birth is a miracle and death is a tragedy, but really they're flip sides of the same coin - anything born is gonna die.
My father, Melvin van Peebles, and my mother were both very active politically when I was a kid. The first time I was allowed to stay up late was to attend a demonstration.
No matter what color you are, if you mentor some little boy or girl, you make a huge difference in their lives because they then model behavior that leads to success versus modeling behavior that doesn't.
When young people see movies like 'Gandhi 'or 'JFK,' there is an element of romanticization of these powerful people, and young people often feel a huge distance between their own lives and the lives of these social-change heroes. But the Panthers were flawed-up people from the streets, so it's easier to identify with them.
When you make a film that is based in reality, reality will come up all around it.
I had unusual parents. We'd been to Europe. We'd been in the theater. We were sort of like the Addams Family.
I'm not in business to make money.
My dad always said there's four phases in an actor/director's life. There's 'Mario Who?' There's 'Get me Mario!' 'Get me a young Mario,' and 'Mario Who?'
My father told me you have two loves in your life: What you do and the people you're with.
When I came out to Hollywood, I discovered the perfect place for my creative madness - Cannon Pictures.
If I or any other black can deliver at the box office, I'll get a lot of work. Too many young actors, regardless of their color, try to play an attitude on camera and fail to remember their job is to fit into an entertainment.