How did Jerry's labor of love come to "bee"? He says the idea for Bee Movie began to take shape during dinner with famed director Steven Spielberg.
"I had called Steven Spielberg to direct this thing I was doingI think it was a commercial for American Express," Jerry says. "I asked him if he would do it, and he said no. We live in the same neighborhood out in Long Island so he said, 'Why don't we have dinner?' So of course I said yes."
The day of the dinner, Jerry says he got very nervous. "I'm Jewish. I grew up on Long Island. [Having dinner with Spielberg] is like having a second bar mitzvah," he says.
Jerry says he sat in the same chair all day and waited for dinner time to roll around. Finally, after hours of anticipation, he and his wife, Jessica, left for the restaurant.
"We're sitting at the dinner getting along very well, and as dinners can go when you're with new people, sometimes a conversation can stall," he says. "There's a little lull and, I don't know, I had a thought the night before. I was performing in Nashville, and I had this thought that it would be funny to do a movie about bees called 'bee movie.' That was itit wasn't, 'I want to make this movie.' It was nothing. It was just a funny idea for a movie title."
After telling Steven his movie title idea Jerry says the Oscar-winning director looked at him and said, "That's a movie. We have to make that movie."
"The next thing I know, I'm on a plane out to DreamWorks in California, and [DreamWorks CEO] Jeffrey Katzenberg is dazzling me with this unbelievable technology that they have," Jerry says. "I thought, 'This is a new sandbox to play in. I wonder if I could be funny in this kind of medium.' I started to get excited about it."