Steve McQueen's father was "scared" about him having a career in the movie business.

Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen

The '12 Years a Slave' director has revealed his dad feared that his Caribbean heritage would mean that he wouldn't be accepted into the industry, and was doing his best to look out for him.

McQueen - who was born and grew-up in London - admits it is a fear that middle-class English and American people simply don't understand.

In an interview with the new issue of ES Magazine, McQueen said: "A lot of middle-class people - or certain people - don't understand that my father was scared for me. He knew the obstacles and obstructions that could come in my way. He wasn't discouraging, but he was fearful and protective."

The Oscar winner also opened up about 'Year 3', a billboard exhibition that will launch at Tate Britain on November 12.

McQueen and his collaborators have attempted to photograph every year three class in London for the project and the aim is to show "the moment in a child's life when there is complete optimism".

He said: "It's to do with the moment in a child's life when there is complete optimism and you're not judged on your race, gender or class. These things are only just starting to come into play, and there are also these opportunities and possibilities."

McQueen also revealed that he didn't want the 'Year 3' exhibition to be overly political.

He said: "I don't want to go down that road; this is about opportunity and optimism."

The 'Widows' filmmaker also described his own experience at school, which was difficult because he had undiagnosed dyslexia and suggested that there was little support for working class children from the teachers.

He recalled: "You were just expected to get on with it. It wasn't particularly progressive for black children or white working class kids."

McQueen has also created a new drama, 'Black Axe', which will air on BBC One next year. It will be set in London's West Indian community between the 1960s and 80s and star John Boyega and Letitia Wright.

He revealed that he wished to explore how black immigrants changed British culture.

He said: "I wanted to look at the real roots of first and second generation (black immigrants); how they changed British culture and what they achieved in a hugely hostile environment."

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