How did 'The Undisputed Truth' come to be?
A good friend of mine, Kerwin DeVonish, called me up. "Spike," he said, "I just saw Mike Tyson." I said, "Doing what?" He said, "He was on stage … it was amazing." I called Mike and we brought it to Broadway last summer. We ran for 12 performances, and they took it on the road. From the very beginning I knew I wanted HBO to do it.
How did the show change for Broadway?
There was a lot of stuff in the original show. It had a band, it had a singer. But it was in Las Vegas, so we had to take the Vegas out. We stripped it down.
Is this Mike Tyson's whole story?
Mike doesn't have one story. And Mike's story is not done. I would not be surprised if there is a chapter two, a sequel to this stage production. You might think you know Mike Tyson, but you really don't.
Was there anything challenging about working with Mike?
There has not been one challenging thing about working with him. I love Mike Tyson. I mean, we are Brooklyn. He grew up in Brownsville; "Never Ran, Never Will." I grew up in Fort Greene. And in fact, people don't know this: Mike Tyson was born in Cumberland Hospital. You know who else was born there? Ask me.
Who else was born there?
Albert King, Bernard King, Mike Tyson, and Michael Jordan, all born in my neighborhood in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
When did you first meet Mike?