Kaluuya opens up about the racism and adversity he previously faced in England in a new interview.
Daniel Kaluuya who is now a household name due to his breakout films 2017’s Get Out and 2018’s Black Panther recently opened up about the racism he experienced when trying out for acting roles in England.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Kaluuya expressed that the adversity he faced led him to aim for roles here in the United States. “I was going for a lot of stuff [in England]. But I wasn’t getting roles because of the color of my skin. It wasn’t fair, it was a trap,” he said.
He went on to share:
“For example, 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.”
He also added, “In any other profession, that would be weird, but it was accepted in mine. It happened a few times, and I went, ‘Nah. I’m not an idiot.’”
Kaluuya’s recollection of his experiences comes as no surprise. The U.K. version of the Academy Awards, the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) received criticism for only nominating white actors this year. Back in 2018, Daniel received the BAFTA’s Rising Star Award, yet that same year the nominees were 94% white according to a report.
Most recently Kaluuya has starred in Lena Waithe’s film Queen & Slim alongside Jodie Smith. He is also set to star as Fred Hampton in Ryan Coogler’s upcoming biopic on the Black Panther activist.
Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind @robyn_mowatt.