President Barrack Obama pictured in Working: What We Do All Day courtesy of Netflix

Working: What We Do All Day director Caroline Suh spent countless hours working alongside Barack Obama on the Netflix docuseries produced by the former president’s Higher Ground production company. During that time, she noticed something kind of surprising about him.

Obama Has a Talent for Making Things Easy to Understand

“I always knew he was super smart. I guess it kind of crystallized — he’s great at taking very complicated things and making them very clear. He has incredible clarity,” Suh told MovieMaker when asked if she learned anything surprising about him during the making of the docuseries.

“Certain things in the series come from him… like the thing about pop culture, how you used to see a lot of working people on television, and then in the ’80s, you start to only see rich people. Like, that never would have occurred to me. And he has a way of kind of identifying things that you can really grab onto and relate to and making them hit home.”

The former president also made an excellent point about globalization’s effect on American consumerism, Suh said.

“Another thing that I loved in our conversations is when he said, ‘You know how when we were young’ — I was born in the ’70s — ‘clothes were really ill-fitting, and people only had, like, one pair of shoes or two pairs of shoes, and now people have, like, a gazillion shoes and clothes?… that’s all because of globalization,'” she recalled Obama telling her.

Also Read: Who Is Obama’s Former Girlfriend, Genevieve Ahearne?

Randi Williams and President Barack Obama courtesy of Netflix

“There are these things about the world I didn’t realize why they are the way they are, or I hadn’t really thought about,” she added. “He’s great at making things really interesting.”

What Is Working: What We Do All Day About?

Working: What We Do All Day follows the daily lives of several working people, from hotel maids to home caregivers and food delivery drivers. Obama both narrates and appears in person in the series to speak with some of the subjects about the state of working culture in America.

Suh also remembered with a laugh how people would react when they met the former president.

“One of the most amazing things is seeing people react to him,” she says. “People who are normally… very urbane and sophisticated just become so giddy and nervous when he shakes their hand. Some of these big crew guys, like grips and gaffers, were like little kids, comparing notes about what they said, what he said to them. It’s just it’s fun to see how people react to him.”

The idea to make Working: What We Do All Day was conceived by the president along with executive producer Davis Guggenheim, Suh says. Other executive producers include Suh, former First Lady Michelle Obama, Priya Swaminathan, Nicole Stott, Jonathan Silberberg, Tonia Davis, and Laurene Powell Jobs. Emelia Brown served as co-executive producer.

“Everyone wants to be taken seriously. So to have someone like President Obama take you seriously, I think, is very confidence inspiring. That’s true for people in this series, too,” Suh said.

“Even just a proximity to him makes people feel a certain kind of feeling of confidence in some weird way.”

Working: What We Do All Day begins streaming on May 17 on Netflix.