‘Us’ Director Jordan Peele: I Don’t Want a ‘White Dude As the Lead in My Movie’

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Jordan Peele attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Get Out director Jordan Peele said that he doesn’t see himself casting any white men as a lead actor in his films during a panel appearance Monday at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles.

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,” Jordan Peele said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Peele continued, saying that he doesn’t want to cast a “white dude” to lead one of his films, prompting the audience to applaud.

“I don’t see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie. Not that I don’t like white dudes,” he said, nodding over to his moderator pal Roberts. “But I’ve seen that movie.” The line drew loud applause and shouts of agreement. “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.”

Peele, fresh off the success of his new film Us, also revealed that early on in his career when he was writing scripts, they tended to feature “evil” white people.

Peele decided he first had to “be great” and gave himself “seven to eight” years to get there. So he started developing multiple projects simultaneously to see what stuck. Get Out was one of those early scripts. “Every two weeks I’d go, ‘What the fuck am I doing? I’m writing a movie where a black man is victimized and all the white people are evil and I’m trying to get the audience to have fun,'” he recalled. “But if you could make that fun … that’s what brought me back.”

The Oscar-winning director, like many of his fellow Hollywood stars, often speaks out about political issues.

Last year, he called President Trump “racist” without naming specific actions of his.

“You know, the truth is the president is a racist, which is very sad,” he said, adding, “I’m disheartened by policies that are xenophobic and sexist…there are many strides backwards every day.”

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