Comedic actor Jordan Peele (Key & Peele) is taking his love for comedy and scary movies and merging the two genres together for an unapologetic look at race relations in the new film, “Get Out.” The horror is his first project as writer and director and follows an African-American photographer who goes to meet the family of his Caucasian girlfriend only to find out that they are not really who they appear to be.
It stars Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Lil Rel Howery and LaKeith Stanfield and was shot in parts of Alabama. While Peele may be the first to admit that his passion project is an unconventional way of addressing racial stereotypes and other “isms,” it should at least open the door for moviegoers to have honest dialogue about what they just witnessed.
“I believe the way we talk about race is tiring to a lot of people out there,” said Peele during an exclusive roundtable interview at Atlanta’s Morehouse College. “These discussions that are suppose to be constructive can fall apart because of our egos and because of people getting defensive. Some people so don’t want to be considered racist that they can’t look within themselves. So I think content like this that is entertaining, first and foremost, is the end or maybe the Trojan horse.”
Ironically, “Get Out” debuts on the last weekend of Black History Month and during the 50th anniversary year of Sidney Poitier's classic, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” a movie that Peele obviously drew a lot of inspiration from for his story.
“We can come in and we can watch and have a good time, scream, yell, laugh, and get scared. Then afterwards you have to acknowledge what happened to you when you were in there. So at that point, I hope it promotes constructive conversation where we’re all on the same page watching that movie.”
Peele also admits that stepping behind the lens has its challenges but can be very rewarding at the same time. “Get Out” received 100’s from the infamous “Rotten Tomatoes” this week and is being described as “funny, scary and thought provoking.”
“Directing is very hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do. It was kind of a different process writing the movie as it was directing and bringing all of that together. The freedom that I was able to give myself by saying, ‘I’m not going to try and be ambitious with this. This is for me and me only.’ That gave me a freedom that allowed me to get to something that has resonated enough to get this current Rotten Tomatoes of 100s so now I feel like what I like is universal. Even if it’s the most left field sort of idea on paper from Hollywood. Make a horror movie about race? But if you’re true to yourself, people feel that. People know, ‘he’s doing him right now’ and I recognize it. Our souls are the same in a way. If you do justice to your emotion and your soul that’s where the commonality in all of us comes up. I love seeing it [Get Out] in a Black crowd. But I love seeing it in a mixed crowd too because everyone is on the same ride and it transcends our differences. That’s a surprise to me!”
Watch the trailer below: