Culture

Jordan Peele Considers Daniel Kaluuya His ‘De Niro’

In a recent interview with Empire, Nope director Jordan Peele recalled telling British actor Daniel Kaluuya “you’re my De Niro.”

The dynamic duo of Jordan Peele and Daniel Kaluuya returns to theaters this month. Five years after Kaluuya starred in Peele’s debut theatrical film Get Out, the British actor stars as OJ Haywood in upcoming Western-thriller epic Nope.

While speaking with Empire, Peele spoke about the first time he worked with Kaluuya, likening their relationship to film icons Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro.

“It’s so funny, but by the point I was in the middle of [shooting] Get Out, that’s what I was telling him,” Peele said. “I was like [makes serious eye contact], ‘You’re my De Niro, man. You’re my De Niro.’ I was like, ‘I need you to be in the future ones too, man!’ You could just tell what we had in him as a performer, from the very beginning.”

In Get Out, Kaluuya played Chris Washington, a Black man in an interracial relationship who meets his girlfriend’s parents at their upstate New York residence. Upon arrival, Washington uncovers the family’s disturbing truth.

“We do have a bond,” Peele continued. “The first big movie he was a lead in, and my directorial debut, was Get Out. And we bonded because we went through that together. In the beginning of that, it feels like two people who have faith in each other, then by the end, it all works. So I just couldn’t wait to further that relationship and explore a completely new character with Daniel.”

In Nope, Kaluuya co-stars with Keke Palmer, who plays his sister Emerald Haywood. The two co-own the only Black-owned ranch in Hollywood, which soon becomes terrorized by extraterrestrial beings. Also in the film are Steven Yeun, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott, and Barbie Ferreira. Can’t wait for the premiere? Visit the official Jupiter’s Claim website for suspenseful games until the film’s release.

Nope releases on July 22.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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