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Jordan Peele’s Culturally Diverse Castings — Part 1 of 3

Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out (2017) Image Credit- Blumhouse Productions

Jordan Peele is a U.S. actor and writer. He first started his career on the comedy show “Key & Peele” before deciding to focus on his writing. He made his debut film “Get Out” and continues to make movies and casting many cross cultural actors.

Daniel Kaluuya, Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke are three actors that star in his movies. Daniel Kaluuya stars in “Get Out,” and Lupita Nyongo and Winston Duke star in “US.” These psychological thrillers took the world by storm when they were first released and these actors were part of that impact.

Kaluuya’s career

Daniel Kaluuya (Image credit: Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0)

Kaluuya is a London-born English actor and writer, the child of Ugandan parents. He spent his childhood in the United Kingdom, making him a Cross Cultural Kid and now a Cross Cultural Adult. Kaluuya started his career as a teen and has been acting ever since. He starred in 2017’s “Get Out,” an African-American horror film. His acting stunned the world, causing the film to make a worldwide gross of US$255.5 million. This was against a production budget of $4.5 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Although Kaluuya is from the UK, he struggled to land roles there because of the color of his skin. In Independent Magazine, Kaluuya said, “I went up for this show. It was 10 rounds of auditions. There was me and a white guy for the lead. It was about aliens. And I realized as I was going to one audition that the other guy had been given an acting coach. They didn’t love me like they loved him.”

Fortunately, these experiences led Kaluuya to explore more opportunities in the United States. 

Kaluuya’s role in ‘Get Out’ and beyond

“He came and he honored us with an audition where he crushed the hypnosis scene. It was a beautiful moment, it was undeniable,” Jordan Peele says about Kaluuya’s “Get Out” audition in Deadline:

You could see he doesn’t do anything for the sake of doing something. His specificity in what he chooses to do, you could tell he was into some good, interesting sh*t. One of the things that really stood out to me was, he understood the risk of Get Out and instead of it pushing him away, it drew him closer.

Jordan Peele on Daniel Kaluuya
Daniel Kaluuya at Comic Con

Since his role in “Get Out,” Kaluuya has starred in “Black Panther” and “Queen & Slim.” “Black Panther” is a movie about a Black superhero, with the late Chadwick Boseman in the starring role. “Queen & Slim” is about a couple who experience police brutality and experience both sides of that situation.

Kaluuya has played a lot of roles that deal with activism and Black experiences and focus more on cultural problems. That said, he wants to be more known by his work as an actor than his race.

According to The Guardian: “Speaking to the Radio Times, Kaluuya, 30, said he was resisting the racial narrative into which he felt he was being forced. “I’m not going to ignore that I’m surrounded by [racial issues], but I’m not defined by it. I’m just Daniel, who happens to be black.”

Kaluuya’s impact

Many people are big fans of Kaluuya’s role in “Get Out” and Lisa Kairy is one of them. Kairy is a third-year Restoration Ecology major with a minor in Entomology at Colorado State University. She says “Get Out” is one of her favorite movies:

His acting was so good, he really made you feel like you were sitting in his spot. As the family got weirder and weirder, you can feel how uncomfortable he was through the screen. I really like movies that are psychologically scary and this movie really embodied that.

She was very surprised when I told her that Kaluuya was actually from the UK.

“Wow I never knew that!” Kairy said, “His English accent was so well, I would have never guessed that he wasn’t initially from America.”

Kaluuya continues to elevate his career and his acting continues to stun communities. The more he’s in movies, it’s only up for him from here.

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3 comments

  1. It’s crazy to think Jordan Peele’s past roles in entertainment have changed so much as of right now. One of my favorite videos from the show “Key & Peele” was the substitute teacher which was hilarious. But now with a more serious approach to the entertainment, I’m pretty impressed with more thriller/horror type of film with a lot of easter eggs with the movie itself. Honestly “Get Out” is 10/10 for me.

  2. I remember seeing both Get Out and Us in theatres and to this day they are still some of my all-time favorite movies. I’ve heard of people with a darker skin color finding it harder to land roles as more people of color who have a lighter skin tone usually get cast more which is upsetting as there is so much talent being lost because of this preference for lighter-skinned people of color. Daniel Kaluuya is also an amazing actor and I am so happy to see him getting role after role, and killing it each time.

  3. I have read a few of your other articles and keep wanting more. You did a really good job of organizing the page to show the story while keeping it tight and concise. I’ve read all the way to the end of your series and this is a great start to it. I love how you explain his story and the impact he has, this is so impotrant! Great job and I loved the details you used! Great sources too

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