Madam Walker was a master marketer. But her brilliance was in taking it to another level by training women, by traveling, by making very motivational speeches and by providing independent income for women who otherwise would have to be maids and sharecroppers.
I think one of the great things about 'Bridesmaids' is that it's a big studio comedy, but all of the relationships in it are so grounded that you're watching a real movie.
In a lot of movies, African-Americans are either maids or slaves, but that's not all they were. We need to show that. And we can't keep erasing history.
When I was a kid, I'd wake up extraordinarily early every morning and turn on the television, scanning for episodes of 'The Jetsons.' For some reason, I loved the notion of a future where there would be flying cars, supercomputers, and most of all, robot maids to take care of the chores.
First of all, just knowing people who grew up in the movie business at that time, no one had Mexican maids.
In Hollywood through the 50s, there were black, English, and Middle European housekeepers and maids.
With female-oriented movies, unless it's something like 'Bridesmaids' or a romantic comedy, you've got to really worry about your opening weekend. And I'm always telling stories about women, not younger women, and it's just a much tougher audience to get to the movie theater.
I think women have always been funny. But when Tina Fey became head writer at 'Saturday Night Live,' the culture shifted, and women gained a bigger voice in comedy. It's not as if Hollywood producers are feminists. It's more that Hollywood said, ''Bridesmaids' made us so much money, all we want now is funny women.'
After 'Bridesmaids,' women know who I am.
The American audience has really opened up to women being A.) funny and B.) kinda crude. 'Bridesmaids' is R-rated, and I think it was a major coup for women to have an R-rated comedy that did really well. Same as 'Bad Teacher.'