I love to take history and replay it in different ways. It not only allows us to reflect on where we are in the world now, but we get to really parse through what we’re going through and the things that have contributed to some of the ills happening now. That’s what touched home for me because as we’re seeing so many young kids being killed by these senseless crimes, hopefully we will be reminded of what is needed and have blueprints to learn from. This one was special for me, too, because Tupac and Biggie were beyond large and important figures in society. If you look at today, we have Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino coming out, and these are voices that needed to be heard. We have to continue to have these images to force us to look in the mirror at ourselves and find the opportunity to be better.
Did you have any concerns since Tupac’s and Biggie’s murders have been so prevalent in TV and film?
Not really. What was important to me and everybody on board was to find what had not been really talked about or shown, and that is the humanity of who these two young men were. It was about really understanding them and finding that opportunity to humanize them. That was something I hadn’t seen before in the stories and depictions that have been told about each of them. We’ve been so saturated in the fads of only negative perceptions. [My goal] specifically was to see them as friends and understand that dynamic. That was one of the exciting things for me.
The show hasn’t been renewed for a second season, but should it be, where would the story go?
Kyle Long, who created the show, has been coming up with what story would be next. The bar has been set with Biggie and Tupac, so what story we tell next has to have equal importance and be something that will hopefully have the kind of impact that we’ve been really blessed to have on this. We haven’t yet gotten together to talk about details.
When it comes to the Purge series, how do you decide what to pull from the films and when to diverge?
I try to give everything its own identity being in the TV space, knowing that structure and having the ability to tell the story over a longer format will be evident and seen in the pacing and how the narrative unfolds. [It’s about] taking this very familiar space that allows fans of the genre to come and have a slightly different experience, really. We’re hoping that they will take this journey and let it be a metaphor for a lot of what we’re going through right now.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.