‘The Defiant Ones’ director Allen Hughes talks ‘tensions’ with Dr Dre during series’ ‘painful’ filming

The series is out now on Netflix

Allen Hughes, director of The Defiant Ones, has spoken about ‘tensions’ with Dr Dre during the “painful” process of working on the project.

The new Netflix Original series charts the rise and success of Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine from their early days until forming Beats 1 together.

Speaking to Metro, Hughes has now discussed the difficulties of making the series with the rapper.


“The thing about Dre is… he’s drama free for the most part,” he said, “but the closer you are to him creatively, and with Jimmy too, there becomes this tension that happens.

“The tension comes from pushing each other – me and Dre got in way more arguments than me and Jimmy. Heated arguments. Sometimes it had nothing to do with the film.”

Dr Dre, Jimmy Iovine and Allen Hughes
Dr Dre, Jimmy Iovine and Allen Hughes

Hughes went on to say that Dre and Iovine tried to hold some control over the filming.

“I think that’s where a lot of the tension came from,” he said. “You can’t make a documentary and you guys dictate. They understood that along the way, but Jimmy is a puppet-master so you have to learn to work with that and not be compromised. He was good with that, eventually.”

The director added that working with Dre and Iovine was “emotional and challenging”.


With the film delving into the darker areas of their pasts, Hughes said it was “painful” to him on a more personal level as he was close with Eazy-E and Tupac.

Hughes recently spoke with NME on the red carpet at the UK premiere of the series. Asked about what the overall ‘meaning’ of the project was, Hughes replied: “Focus, don’t let anybody knock you off your dreams, stay inspired, and know that it’s going to be very difficult to do something great – whether it’s a record, writing a book, doing a movie. It’s not going to all be ecstasy, it’s going to be agony as well.”

The Defiant Ones
is out now on Netflix UK.