Zoey Brewer and Her Movie-Making Uncle

Hustle and Flow, a 2005 drama film, was directed by Craig Brewer. Considered to be one of his most popular films, it depicts the second chance an ex-criminal takes by starting his own rap career in Memphis.

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Hustle and Flow, a 2005 drama film, was directed by Craig Brewer. Considered to be one of his most popular films, it depicts the second chance an ex-criminal takes by starting his own rap career in Memphis.

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Zoey Brewer (12), a White Station student and Craig Brewer, an award-winning director, seem like they aren’t alike in the slightest. Nonetheless, they share one similarity: they are related. 

Craig Brewer is Zoey Brewer’s uncle. Zoey describes their relationship as playful, like any other bond an uncle and a niece would have. She has nothing but pride for her uncle due to seeing his career along with his drive blossom behind the scenes. 

“…Seeing it from [making movies on his own little camera] and then to being on set from when he did Hustle and Flow and Black Snake Moan…and now seeing Dolomite Is My Name and working with Eddie Murphy… It’s such a contrast. I’ve watched it all go through,” Zoey Brewer said.

This feeling of pride is mutual. Craig Brewer finds himself amazed at what Zoey gets involved in in her free time. 

“I’m in awe of her,” Craig Brewer said. “She just gets politically involved and very passionate, and I’ve watched her work very hard in her life… whenever we see each other it’s always really cool.” 

Family has been both something that he has been proud of and also a source of encouragement. Brewer explains that when he was an up-and-coming director, his family provided comfort in the thick of getting himself out there.

“I bought out a theatre at the Ridgeway Cinema, and all my family came to it: grandmothers and grandpas, aunts and uncles—it was a big family thing,” Craig Brewer said. “And even though I’ve had Hollywood premieres, that’s still the best premier ever because it was the  first time that I got to show my family what I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life.”

Getting inspiration, comfort, and encouragement from family is a two way street and is significant in Craig and Zoey Brewer’s relationship. 

“Seeing him questioning whether or not he was supposed to [be a director] and realizing ‘No, this is what I’m supposed to do’ … has really taught me that if you just work hard enough, you can do it.”

 

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