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#CareerClimb : Jordan Peele shares a lack of role models could hold many back


Jordan Peele almost didn’t become a director because of the lack of black role models.

The 36-year-old actor-turned-filmmaker made history after becoming the first ever African American to win the Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards on Sunday (04.03.18) for his psychological thriller ‘Get Out’, and he admitted he is “proud” to be part of a movement.

Speaking at the press conference at the Dolby Theatre, in Los Angeles, after winning the award, Peele said: “It’s a renaissance. I almost never became a director because there was a shortage of role models – there was Spike Lee, John Singleton, and others.

“I am so proud to be at the beginning of a movement where the best films in every genre are being bought by my fellow black directors.”

The award marks the first-time director’s first Academy Award – but has won a number of other gongs during the awards season – but admitted he didn’t know how “important it was”.

He said: “I didn’t know how important it was. I had this feeling of looking at the 12-year-old that had this win burning in my gut – for this time of validation.

“I instantly realized this award is bigger than me.”

‘Get Out’ – which was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director – beat out ‘The Big Sick’, ‘Lady Bird’, ‘The Shape of Water’, and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ to take the prize.

The film follows interracial couple Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), who have reached the meet-the-parents stage of dating.

She invites him for a weekend getaway with her parents and, at first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship.

But during the weekend, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries and bizarre encounters with the family’s white neighbors and friends lead him to a truth that he could never have imagined.

And Peele has previously admitted he would “seriously consider” making a sequel.

He said: “I will definitely seriously consider it. I love that universe and I feel like there’s more story to tell. I don’t know what it is now but there are some loose ends that want to be tied up. I would never want to do a sequel that just feels like for the sake of doing a sequel. I would have to have a story that I feel like would take it up a notch.

“When you create something like that, it’s very personal and meaningful, but to hear that people kind of related to that feeling and needed it to be named has been very touching for me.”