For actors, all it takes is the right role, the right film, and the perfect opportunity for their lives to officially change. That can be said for Daniel Kaluuya. The 28-year-old actor has bided his time working in theater and television roles in his home country of England (including an appearance on everyone’s latest TV obsession, Black Mirror) before his emergence in American film, with roles in Kick-Ass 2 and Sicario. But it was his lead role as Chris Washington in Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out that launched Kaluuya into the stratosphere of Hollywood’s rising stars.
Making his late-night television debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Kaluuya sat with Colbert to discuss the film’s cultural impact almost a year after it hit theaters. He talked a bit about how the film manages to properly share the experiences of Black people worldwide, not just through an African-American or a British lens.
“I feel like what Jordan articulated through his voice, his African-American voice and African-American perspective, he tapped into a universal Black truth navigating the Western world,” Kaluuya said. “Where like, white people say some really weird stuff to you. White people say weird stuff. White people say weird things.”
One of the first things that come to mind from Kaluuya’s statements was this year’s Golden Globe Awards, where Get Out was nominated in the category of Best Musical or Comedy Motion Picture, as well as Kaluuya’s nomination of Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Motion Picture. In host Seth Meyer’s opening monologue, he included Kaluuya in several jokes that missed the humorous mark.
When Colbert asked Kaluuya to name some examples of the weird things white people say, he didn’t hesitate. “[Jordan] was saying a joke about ‘I would’ve voted for Obama three times,'” he said. “The new version of that is, ‘I’ve watched Get Out three times.’ So it’s like people go, ‘Oh, like, I’m so down’ or like, ‘Oh, Steph Curry,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah.'”
Kaluuya was also quick to answer Colbert’s inquiry about something cool that’s happened since the movie came out. It turns out, he met Oprah, and she introduced him to Denzel Washington at the Golden Globes. With his role in the highly anticipated Black Panther coming up, it’s safe to say we’re going to be seeing Kaluuya on our screens for quite a while.