Jordan Peele says black actors will always take center stage in his movies: 'I don't see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie'
Director Jordan Peele is currently lapping up the attention as audiences enjoy his latest horror flick 'Us'. The success of the film can be judged by the cool $88 million global box office collections to its name. With the success of 'Us', it wouldn't be far fetched to say that Peele is on his way to joining the ranks of blockbuster auteurs like Christopher Nolan and his personal hero Ridley Scott.
And now that he is in this position, he finds it easy to say that he will not be casting any more white leads in his upcoming movies in the near future. A statement he has exhibited in the past with the choice of his cast for his earlier film. Peele followed up with his first feature film 'Get Out' with the release of 'Us' for which he also hired a majority black cast for the production. While he is wary about getting recognized and hounded on the streets, he explains how being in the public eye has given him a certain power and he intends to use this gift quite judiciously.
Peele also shared with an audience at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre that he was very privileged to be able to do so. According to the Hollywood Reporter, he said, "I get to cast black people in my movies. I feel fortunate to be in this position where I can say to Universal — "I want to make a $20 million horror movie with a black family" — and they say yes," before adding, "I don't see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie."
Peele's whose debut 'Get Out' resulted in him getting an Academy Award nomination for best director and also won him the original screenplay gong, opened up on why he was choosing to give up on a diversity of actors in movies. He shared, "Not that I don't like white dudes, but I've seen that movie. It really is one of the best, greatest pieces of this story, is feeling like we are in this time — a renaissance has happened and proved the myths about representation in the industry are false."
The director Peele also spoke about many other things aside from diversity which also included his marijuana use and also his favorite 'Twilight Zone' episode. He explained saying: "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street," where the story centers around what happens to a neighborhood when they fear that aliens have landed in their town. He added, "It points out the ugliness and flaws of humanity. That's what I like to do with my stories. The real monsters are within us. When people get together we are the greatest monster we've ever known."
He also shared about how he worked on the art of listening. He said it was something that continues to influence and elevate his work. "Nothing is more important," Peele insisted. "The more you are armed with what you take in, the more ammo you have. ... Directing for me is about hiring the right people, listening to them and helping them do the best job possible."
He added that he listened to his ego and learned to turn the volume down. He shared, "You have to shelve it. You have to check it constantly. It's so easy for it to come out and rear its ugly head." He further added, "The ego is deceptive and it will screw you up."