Despite the success of the box-office hit, “Get Out,” written and directed by “Key & Peele” star #JordanPeele, the film received slight criticism from actor Samuel L. Jackson, regarding the decision to cast a black British actor as lead.
The movie, which is described as a “social thriller,” followed the interracial relationship between Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams). In the film, the couple takes a trip to meet Rose’s parents, but to Chris’ surprise, he discovers a horrific family secret. The film also subtly draws comparisons to the racial issues in America.
In an interview with Hot 97, Jackson expressed his opinion about the film’s casting, wondering what the movie would have been if a black American had the role as Chris.
“There are a lot of black British actors that work in this country. All the time,” he said. “I tend to wonder what would that movie have been with an American brother who really understands that in a way. Because Daniel grew up in a country where they’ve been interracial dating for a hundred years. Britain, there’s only about eight real white people left in Britain. … So what would a brother from America made of that role? I’m sure the director helped. Some things are universal, but everything ain’t.”
In turn, Daniel fired back, frustrated that he has to prove and defend his blackness by comparing his struggle based on the black struggle in America.
“When I’m around black people, I’m made to feel ‘other’ because I’m dark-skinned,” he 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!”
“I really respect African-American people. I just want to tell black stories,” he continued. “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.”
“I see black people as one man… I resent that I have to prove that I’m black. I don’t know what that is. I’m still processing it.”