“Get Out” star Daniel Kaluuya has spoken up in response to actor Samuel L. Jackson who questioned his casting in the satirical horror film on a recent talk show appearance.
Jackson reportedly wondered why a British actor was cast in the pic that tackles race in the United States and the role wasn’t instead given to an African-American who could better resonate with the theme.
Jackson later clarified his remarks, saying that he was criticizing the Hollywood system in general rather than the actor. Nevertheless, Kaluuya responded to the remarks with a lengthy quote to GQ:
“Here’s the thing about that critique, though. I’m dark-skinned, bro. When I’m around black people, I’m made to feel ‘other’ because I’m dark-skinned. I’ve had to wrestle with that, with people going, ‘You’re too black.’ Then I come to America, and they say, ‘You’re not black enough.’ I go to Uganda, I can’t speak the language. In India, I’m black. In the black community, I’m dark-skinned. In America, I’m British. Bro!
You’re getting singled out for the color of your skin, but not the content of your spirit, and that’s everywhere. That’s my whole life, being seen as ‘other.’ Not fitting in in Uganda, not Britain, not America. They just highlight whatever feature they want. I really respect African-American people. I just want to tell black stories.
This is the frustrating thing, bro – in order to prove that I can play this role, I have to open up about the trauma that I’ve experienced as a black person. I have to show off my struggle so that people accept that I’m black. No matter that every single room I go to I’m usually the darkest person there. You know what I’m saying?
I kind of resent that mentality. I’m just an individual. Just because you’re black, you taken and used to represent something. It mirrors what happens in the film. I resent that I have to prove that I’m black. I don’t know what that is. I’m still processing it.”
Peele has previously said it was easy for him to cast Kaluuya: “because at the end of the day, he was the best person for the role.” The actor himself is next slated to star in Steve McQueen’s “Widows” remake starring Viola Davis.