Daniel Kaluuya burst onto the Hollywood scene with a leading role in Jordan Peele‘s Get Out, however, during a recent interview the British actor admitted that it almost didn’t happen.
While chatting with Peele for Essence, Kaluuya revealed that he almost quit acting altogether before getting the starring role.
“I’ve never told you this, but when you reached out to me and we had that Skype, I was really disillusioned with acting,” he admitted. “I had stopped acting for like a year and a half.”
“I checked out, because I was just like, this isn’t working,” he continued. “I wasn’t getting roles, because racism and all this kind of stuff — so you reaching out was like, Okay, I’m not crazy. It’s proper. It’s going to be all right.”
Kaluuya went on to share that following Get Out he became more intentional about projects he decided to partake in, telling Peele, “I was just like, If it’s not a ‘F*** yeah,’ it’s a no. That kind of cleaned house.”
“A ‘F*** yeah’ to me is when you’re doing plays, you’re doing it for 400 pound a week. That’s pre-agent, pre-tax, pre-everything. So I was like, Would I do this for 400 pound a week? And if the answer was yes, then all right, cool, I’ll do it,” he explained. “I want to go into places that I don’t know I can. I want three-dimensional characters. I want to tell the story, no matter how big or how small.”
Using his role in Widows as an example, Kaluuya added, “I’m not in the film that much, but my character had an arc — he had a story and an evolution. As long as that’s there, then I can engage with it.”
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