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Daniel Kaluuya Defends His ‘Get Out’ Casting After Samuel L. Jackson’s Critique

"I just want to tell black stories," the British actor said.

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out'

Cook -Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Last week, Samuel L. Jackson offered his critique of the fact that Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” features a black British actor in the lead role instead of an African-American.“There are a lot of black British actors in these movies,” the veteran actor said during an interview on New York’s Hot 97 radio station. “I tend to wonder what ‘Get Out’ would have been with an American brother who really feels that.”

Now, Daniel Kaluuya has responded. “Big up Samuel L. Jackson, because here’s a guy who has broken down doors,” the British actor said in an interview with GQ. “He has done a lot so that we can do what we can do.”

READ MORE: Samuel L. Jackson Reenacts His Career — ‘Pulp Fiction,’ ‘Star Wars’ and More on ‘Late Late Show’

The actor explained that, although he is not African-American, he can definitely identify with Peele’s social horror-triller. “I empathize. That script spoke to me,” he said. “I’ve been to Ugandan weddings, and funerals, and seen that cousin bring a white girl. That’s a thing in all communities. I really respect African American people. I just want to tell black stories.”

Kaluuya added, “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. You probably feel that as a writer, too. Just because you’re black, you’re taken and used to represent something. It mirrors what happens in the film.”

READ MORE: ‘Get Out’ Star Daniel Kaluuya Joins Steve McQueen’s ‘Widows’ Alongside Viola Davis

The actor also spoke about his experience as a black British, and how he is made to feel that he is either “too black” or “not black enough.” “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,” Kaluuya said. “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!”

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