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Jordan Peele's Heartfelt Commitment To Daniel Kaluuya Is Just Perfect

As a director, Jordan Peele only has three films to his name so far — the surprise breakout social thriller hit "Get Out," the ambiguous, hard-to-pin-down nightmare "Us," and 2022's "Nope," which Peele himself has described as a "horror epic." Of those three films, two of them have starred British actor Daniel Kaluuya, whose lead role in "Get Out" served as his breakout role from television actor to feature film leading man.

The bond between filmmaker and actor can be one of the most creatively fruitful and movies, and it's not unusual to see a director repeatedly cast the same star in a string of films. Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro are probably the most famous actor-director team, but there's also Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon, Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers ... the list goes on. As it turns out, Peele has similar designs on Kaluuya, and according to a recent interview to promote "Nope," he has had them for some time. It's great to read about such commitment in showbusiness, and to anticipate what kind of fruit such creative devotion could bear in the future.

Peele was thinking of Kaluuya as his De Niro during filming of Get Out

In an interview with Empire, Jordan Peele went into detail on his creative relationship with Daniel Kaluuya, in a typically amusing way. When asked about the possibility of a long-term series of collaborations between the two as director and actor, Peele said that a comparison between the duos of himself and Kaluuya and the famous Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro string of films had already occurred to him, way back when he was still shooting "Get Out." In Peele's words, "It's so funny, but by the point I was in the middle of [shooting] Get Out, that's what I was telling [Kaluuya]." In a scene that wouldn't be out of place in a "Key & Peele" sketch, Peele recalls saying to Kaluuya on set: "I was like [makes serious eye contact], 'You're my De Niro, man. You're my De Niro."

He also emphasized this to the actor in a sincere way, as well. As Peele explains, he told Kaluuya, "I was like, 'I need you to be in the future ones too, man!' You could just tell what we had in him as a performer, from the very beginning."

Peele said he saw big potential in working with Kaluuya far beyond the scope of "Get Out." Which makes sense, as even before this role, the actor had shown startling talents in his TV roles in "Doctor Who" and particularly "Black Mirror," where he fronted the unforgettably bleak episode "Fifteen Million Merits."

And sure enough, by casting him in "Nope," Peele is now on his way to making those long-term team-up ambitions a reality.