Looking back at the tougher times then, did you have the urge to say, Let's leave that in the past. I'm beyond it? It can't be easy to revisit and hear some of those things that were said about you.
Of course! But beyond what things were said about me, I think I have a new perspective today, because the experience I went through was very formative to get me to who and where I am today. From a professional standpoint, my company is in an incredibly strong, productive place. From a human standpoint, I made a really clear transition -- a humbling and invigorating, I would say, transition -- to a real understanding of who I am, that my life is my work, rather than the work and fashion being a facilitator or an entrée into a lifestyle. Because that's not what this is about! Really, if you want to work, you have to be incredibly dedicated.
It also forced me to have a much further, deeper understanding and responsibility of the business side of fashion. The tough love from, obviously, what people said about me, but more the experience [of] potentially having everything taken away from you, having to really look at yourself -- what your clothing, your work, represented, what you represented, how that was misinterpreted, what parts you can be responsible for, what elements are out of your control -- can break most people, or you can refocus and find a kind of resilience out of it and be invigorated and learn from it. That's how I look at that experience. Tough love is not fun to go through. Not being understood is hard. I think attention and jealousy can be a strong component that is out of one's control, by nature. When your celebratory nature of life is questioned and frowned upon and your optimism or even ambition can be frowned upon, that can be quite challenging.
There are a lot of talking heads in this film -- your family, your friends, celebrities, critics. Is there a revelation or one thing that someone said that surprised you or stuck out to you when you watched?
The most surprisingly element of the film -- and the element that I was the most protective about and not something, initially, that I was necessarily comfortable with -- was the bigger story of this movie, the surprise story, which is the family story. The process of making the film itself was a reflective, healing process, especially with my sister. I think it takes a level of real maturity to reflect on oneself and take responsibility for actions. My sister said to Sandy after an interview, something about "Remember, this is not just a story about Zac. It's also a story about the family." And, to me, that's the moment that cuts through.
For sure, watching the movie and watching Sean Combs' interview, now with a decade of reflection on it, it just made me fall in love with Sean again. And when I hear Naomi speak, it's very clear to me why we love each other and I pinch myself at how incredibly fortunate and lucky I was [to have] the passion and drive and care that these incredibly talented and driven people invested into me as a friend and mentors and business partners early in my career.