Thursday, March 16, 2017

JORDAN PEELE Says The MOST HORRIFYING STORY Is BEING BLACK In AMERICA For GQ MAG!!!

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Filmmaker/Comedian JORDAN PEELE just recently released his Horror/Comedy/Thriller film GET OUT, and; has already set a new record for being the first BLACK WRITER/DIRECTOR to gross $100 MILLION from a film!!!

GQ Journalist CAITY WEAVER caught up with Jordan Peele long enough to ask him a few questions for the current issue of GQ Magazine.

Here are some interview interludes:

GQ: You started working on this movie before Barack Obama was even in office. It’s hitting theaters at a time when the belligerent host of NBC’s The Apprentice (seasons 1-14) is the President of the United States of America. Two weeks into office, he’s basically running the country like it’s sweeps week, and anything goes. Do you think the movie will resonate differently now than it would have a year ago? Or even a month ago?

Jordan Peele: I think Get Out will resonate differently in Trump's America than it would've if it came out in Obama's America. I really don't know how though. That's the hard thing about a "social thriller". You put in years to make a film, and society is a moving target.  More interesting to me is to feel a part of this renaissance of untapped voices that's happening in the entertainment industry right now. With what Donald [Glover] is doing on Atlanta, what Issa [Rae] is doing with Insecure, and what [director and writer] Ava [DuVernay] is doing with everything... It feels like we can get sh*t made now, that we never could've before.

GQ: You’ve said Get Out is inspired by Rosemary’s Baby and the original Stepford Wives, which both use gender as fodder for scares. Why do you think there are no horror movies about race?

Black creators have not been given a platform, and the African-American experience can only be dealt with by an African-American. That might be problematic to say. And now that I think about it, [The Stepford Wivesauthor] Ira Levin is a man, and he and Roman Polanski wrote Rosemary’s Baby. Let’s say it would be scary for a white writer and director to do something that includes the victimization of black people in this way. Of course, we have this trope where the black guy is the first to die in every horror movie—that’s a way for [white filmmakers] to have their cake and eat it, too.

GQ: Early on in the movie, there’s a tense interaction between your main character, Chris, and a white police officer that touches on the fraught relationship between black people and cops in the United States. Chris is played by British actor Daniel Kaluuya, who sued the London police in 2013 for allegedly assaulting and falsely imprisoning him after mistaking him for a drug dealer, so he’s obviously had some experience with law enforcement. Still, were you hesitant about not using an African-American actor for this role?

Most important was having an actor who related to the isolation of being the only black person in a given space. My presumption was that might be a uniquely African-American experience. But when I asked Daniel, he was like, “No, bro. This is what my friends and I are always talking about, bro.”

GQ: Early on in the movie, there’s a tense interaction between your main character, Chris, and a white police officer that touches on the fraught relationship between black people and cops in the United States. Chris is played by British actor Daniel Kaluuya, who sued the London police in 2013 for allegedly assaulting and falsely imprisoning him after mistaking him for a drug dealer, so he’s obviously had some experience with law enforcement. Still, were you hesitant about not using an African-American actor for this role?

Most important was having an actor who related to the isolation of being the only black person in a given space. My presumption was that might be a uniquely African-American experience. But when I asked Daniel, he was like, “No, bro. This is what my friends and I are always talking about, bro.”


GQ: A lot of the horror in the movie comes from the fact that it can be scary to be black. In some situations, it’s just social anxiety, but in others, there’s a real threat that just doesn’t exist for the white characters.

One of the [great] things about Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner that anybody can relate to is the uncomfortableness of meeting your in-laws for the first time and being at a party where you’re the outsider. So the layer of race that enriches and complicates that tension [in Get Out] becomes relatable. It’s made to be an inclusive movie. If you don't go through the movie with the main character, I haven't done my job right."

GQ: Your wife, Chelsea Peretti, is white. This movie is a terrifying film about the horrors that befall a black man after he meets his white girlfriend’s family. Was that an awkward conversation to have with your in-laws?

Yes—this movie is a true story. [laughs] No, everybody gets it. My family, they’re all very smart, all very funny. This is not the story of my marriage at all.
GQ: My dad is a black guy from Philly, and I once dated a white guy from the South. Before they met, my only request to my father was “Please don’t bring up slavery.” Within two minutes: “Your family own slaves?” Have you ever had a meeting with parents go awry?

No, I’m pretty good with parents. But there are situations where I’ll feel racially isolated, and I don’t necessarily know how much of it is warranted—am I being the racist one? That is what this movie is about.
GQ: Let’s talk about white people. Were you ever concerned about making the ones in this movie too evil?

Part of what horror is is taking risks and going somewhere that people think you’re not supposed to be able to go, in the name of expressing real-life fears. I put a lot of thought into [the evil of the white characters], and no one ever suggested that I change it.

GQ: Besides systemic racism—and it sounds like maybe dolphins—what are you afraid of? Ghosts?

I want to believe in ghosts. I love ghost stories. We were shooting Keanu in New Orleans, and the whole cast went on this ghost tour, led by this sexy, swarthy guy. Like, “If these streets could talk, they’d tell some pretty scary stories. But you probably don’t want to hear about that...” I was looking over at Method Man like, “Oh, my God, I brought a member of the Wu-Tang Clan to this fucking ghost tour. He’s going to hate it.” At the end of the tour, Method Man raises his hand. I was like, “Oh, here it comes.” He goes, “Sometimes I wake up and I feel something sitting on my chest. What is it?” And I’m thinking, It’s blunts, it’s blunts, stop smoking blunts. But the tour guide is like, [nodding] “That’s going to be a night hag.”
GQ: One more question: Is Get Out coming out during Black History Month on purpose?

Yeah!!!

-CCG






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