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Jordan Peele’s Cross Cultural Castings: Winston Duke — Part 3 of 3

Winston Duke (@winstoncduke) • Instagram

Jordan Peele continues to cast people of cross-cultural identities within his move “Us” with Winston Duke in one of the lead roles.

Winston Duke, born in Argyle, Tobago came to to the United States with his family when he was just nine years old. He is an actor who has lead roles in “Black Panther” and of course Jordan Peele’s movie “Us.” 

Winston Duke interview about Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’

Duke’s role in ‘Us’

“Us” Is about a family of four traveling to an old beach house. They eventually find out that there are doppelgangers of them and a series of events happens because of that. Duke plays the husband in the family as Gabe Wilson. According to Box Office Mojo, the film brought in $255 million at the box office, with only a $70 million budget.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Duke explains his experience with Jordan Peele and the movie: “He [Jordan Peele] told me, ‘I have this project. I’m not gonna tell you anything about the script, let me know what you think. Let me know if you wanna be a part of it.’ And then I read it, and it’s just — I saw all these tentacles in there that reached out and touched so many topics. So many ‘isms’ — class, the patriarchy, everything. I said, ‘Jordan, I need to be part of the conversation here, and not as a passenger. I have to be in the driver’s seat with you on this one. Let’s get to work.’”

And from this, the movie started filming.

Duke and his cultural adjustment to the U.S.A.

Duke had a hard time adjusting to a new culture, especially at such a young age. In an Interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said, “It was a tough adjustment. I was very reclusive because I didn’t really understand American culture.”

Duke’s identity is something that has been at the forefront of his life. In an interview in “Vulture” magazine, Duke says he has thought about the American dream compared to the American reality as a Black man since the movie. This is why he wants to change the narrative within Black horror. 

Duke and his influence on others

This view on movies has a large influence on many Black people because they are finally not the first do die. Someone who has been influenced personally when it comes to being seen is Tanadeeba Gbi-u. She is a fourth-year Black student at Colorado State University studying Human Development and Family Studies. 

“The comparisons within Black people in horror movies from then and now are that back then Black people were just in movies to be killed,” Gbi-U says. “We are seeing Black people make it to the end of the movie. It was really racist in my opinion that they would do that in so many movies because we were shown as the weak link so it’s great that now we’re seeing Black characters be stronger.”

Winston Duke and other cross-cultural characters that Jordan Peele cast continue to pave the way in media for people who look like them. They show their cross cultural background through their work and act as role models to whomever is watching. 

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3 comments

  1. I like this article because Duke made some good points. He is not from this country but yet, he still sees what others try to not see. He sees what our country does to individuals in ways such as portray them or discriminate them. He expressed how he wanted to change the way blacks are looked at in horror movies and I agree to that. However, why not change the way blacks or minorities are in all films.

  2. I think you did an amazing job using his words to uplift the story! Having his words explain what you are trying to portray does a really good job of showing the impact of representation in media even in your own writing. This is such a good wrap-up to your three-part series! I left a comment on the first one and this last one does not disapoint!

  3. Great job on this article. I thought the way you wrote it was smooth to follow and very strategic. I was really intrigued to read about an actor that I had recently seen in a film, and I was certainly not disappointed.

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