BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — One year ago, most audiences didn’t know the name Daniel Kaluuya.
Now, the 28-year-old British actor has a best-actor Oscar nomination for starring in one of last year’s biggest films, “Get Out”; a culture-shifting blockbuster opening this week (“Black Panther”); and a Steve McQueen film on the horizon.
The Associated Press, which named Kaluuya one of its breakthrough entertainers of 2017, spoke to the actor recently about his crazy year, the life-changing nomination and his mom’s practical advice on Oscar-nomination morning.
Remarks have been edited for clarity and brevity.
AP: You’ve had quite the year! To think, you were shooting ‘Black Panther’ when ‘Get Out’ was about to come out last February.
KALUUYA: When (‘Get Out’) was in Sundance I was in Atlanta preparing. Literally, I had U.K. press on my day off of ‘Black Panther.’ It’s been a run.
AP: Did you ever think “Get Out” would be this big?
KALUUYA: No, I didn’t. An indie horror?! No inkling. I had a feeling ‘Black Panther’ would be big. It was an ensemble, it was obviously a different thing. I’m English and ‘Black Panther’ is my third American job. It’s kind of like me understanding how it works on this level. I was blessed to have this opportunity. And I didn’t expect ‘Get Out’ to be the horse that it’s been, just riding through the whole year and picking up pace. It looks like I have this master plan, but I just do stuff that I believe in and am interested in and work with filmmakers I’m a fan of.
AP: Has life changed for you?
KALUUYA: I mean I’m sitting here and this balcony is bigger than my flat. But I think it’s still happening for me to understand the actual change of it. I think it’s when it goes quiet you go, ‘What’s changed?’ But like the nom came out Tuesday. It’s like seven days. Just as I was like getting into, ‘Oh what does this mean?’ then I see ‘Black Panther,’ and it’s like boom.
AP: How do you choose what you work on? You have Steve McQueen’s “Widows” coming up next.
KALUUYA: I’m drawn to projects where I don’t know what happens next. That’s what happened with ‘Get Out,’ I was like, ‘I haven’t seen this, let’s do it.’ Because you don’t know what’s going to happen. With ‘Black Panther,’ I have ideas now that I’ve watched it. I think it’ll be sold …read more