The success of Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out, was met with a few muddled critiques, one hailing from veteran actor, Samuel L. Jackson. The Kong: Skull Island star recently shared his controversial views on British black actors gaining roles in box office hits stateside more than African-American actors.
During an interview with HOT 97, Jackson name-dropped the film’s lead performer, Daniel Kaluuya, before diving into his opinion on those who hail from overseas being casted in roles that might suit a black American actor instead. “I tend to wonder what would that movie have been with an American brother who really understands that in a way,” Jackson said, presumably highlighting the film’s view on race through the bodies of black men in America.
Jackson went on to point out a divide between black actors from Britain and in America that stems from different upbringings in the acting world. “They think they’re better trained, for some reason, than we are because they’re classically trained,” he said. “I don’t know what the love affair is with all that.”
In a recent Q&A with GQ, Kaluuya spoke openly on Jackson’s observation, and said his battle with proving his blackness is not something new. “I’m dark-skinned, bro. When I’m around black people I’m made to feel ‘other’ because I’m dark-skinned,” he said. “I’ve had to wrestle with that, with people going, ‘You’re too black.’ Then I come to America and they say, ‘You’re not black enough.'”
Nearing the end of his response to Jackson’s statement, Kaluuya said, “I resent that I have to prove that I’m black. I don’t know what that is. I’m still processing it.”
On the subject of the 27-year-old’s next sure-to-be box office giant, Black Panther, which also features black actors from America, Africa and Europe, he described the stacked reel as “an African blockbuster,” and compared it to HBO’s cornerstone, Game of Thrones. As for its director Ryan Coogler, Kaluuya said he’s just a down to Earth guy with a master plan to take over the film industry. “He’s a normal dude, in a Golden State hat and a Tupac t-shirt directing the whole set,” he said. “It’s the most beautiful thing to see.”