The Oscar winner revealed during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he had action icon Bruce Willis in mind when filming the latest Jordan Peele film, marking a reunion between the “Get Out” collaborators.
“It was more [about] working with Jordan. Coming back and doing this with him,” Kaluuya said. “We had a lot of conversations building up to the shoot, and when I got to the set, I was like, ‘Oh shit, this is a fucking action film. Holy shit.’ The most daring thing to do is go for it, [so] let’s do Bruce Willis then. Let’s go for this shit.”
The “Judas and the Black Messiah” star added, “I really care about original films and original content, and to even be making a film like this with Keke Palmer as a lead, me as a lead, Jordan as a director on this level of budget and it be original — it’s so important that this film connects.”
Kaluuya went on to discuss breaking the assumptions of Black actors in original films like “Get Out,” adding that audiences “think we’re playing ourselves” in dramatic roles.
The “Black Mirror” breakout star previously admitted that prior to working with writer-director Peele on 2018’s “Get Out,” he thought about quitting the industry.
“I was really disillusioned with acting,” Kaluuya, who recently confirmed he will not be starring in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” explained. “I had stopped acting for like a year and a half. I checked out, because I was just like, this isn’t working. I wasn’t getting roles, because racism and all this kind of stuff — so [Peele] reaching out was like, ‘Okay, I’m not crazy. It’s proper. It’s going to be all right.'”
Peele praised Kaluuya’s talent, saying, “We were looking for a lead Black actor and realized there’s not a lot who have been given opportunities to be the lead of a film. I was just so thrilled to realize what the rest of the world considers a very small pool. I had at least one of the best actors I’d ever seen in my movie.”
“Nope” premieres in theaters July 22. The plot centers around the spectacle of being a “great American UFO story,” as Peele noted.