After the success of Get Out (which has officially made Jordan Peele the first black director to have a $100 million directorial debut), it makes sense that the film’s star Daniel Kaluuya would be all over the media. After talking the “horrors of racism” on Complex Live a few weeks ago, a new GQ interview with Kaluuya has been making the rounds. Somehow, some way, Kaluuya made a way to compare his Get Out character Chris to J. Cole—and before you ask, no, Chris hasn’t gone platinum with no features.
“[Chris] feels like an everyman,” Kaluuya said. “He’s kind of like J. Cole. Chris is that guy that everyone knows, who has been in everyone’s class at school. That good guy from around the area.” That is, until [REDACTED], forced Chris to [REDACTED], amirite?
Further in the discussion, Kaluuya claps back at some comments Samuel L. Jackson made about resenting Kaluuya being cast as Chris ahead of an African American actor. While Kaluuya makes sure to note that Jackson has “done a lot so that we can do what we can do,” he’s tired of having to prove himself in each situation he gets in.
“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!”
Kaluuya doubles down on what he’s trying to do, though, saying, “I really respect African-American people. I just want to tell black stories. 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.”
J. Cole wouldn’t be mad at that.