Daniel Kaluuya won’t be appearing in the Black Panther sequel due to scheduling conflicts, but fans did get to see the British actor in Jordan Peele’s highly anticipated film, NOPE. Written and directed by Peele, very little information about the movie’s plot was made available prior to it being released in theaters on July 22. It was announced that Keke Palmer would co-star opposite Kaluuya, however, so who could resist? The two play siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood, respectively.
Palmer previously told REVOLT she believes Daniel Kaluuya has reached “legendary status” and also shared one of her favorite NOPE themes during the chat. Now, Kaluuya shares the biggest messages he took away from the film and opens up about his experience on set with Palmer. The onscreen siblings investigate UFOs in Peele’s latest offering, so he also chats about what he thinks he would find if he were to travel to other planets. Check out our quick and exclusive chat below.
Your onscreen chemistry with Keke Palmer was great. How much fun did you all have together and was there any ad-libbing involved?
We had a lot of fun together. Keke kept the vibe up on set. Also, Keke ad-libs for sure — I love that, she’s an incredible improviser. I really respect her craft. She would really add something, play around with it and really stretch it — she’s truly elastic that way. In the scene when she’s talking about the history of the Haywood ranch, she adlibbed a lot. She said something like, “I can get cheesesteaks and make a sandwich.” She was adding all these little bits and it was lowkey making me break a little (laughs). She’s really great.
There’s a moment in the film where you’re trying to educate the room on horse training. Your character couldn’t find the courage to speak up, but Keke’s was fearless and comfortable. Have you ever felt like your character in real life?
I wouldn’t say he doesn’t have the courage — I would say his courage comes out in a different way. He just realized he’s not his dad. So, he could probably be fine — but he’s not as good as his dad, so then that blocks him from ever doing it. Emerald doesn’t have that hang-up — she doesn’t have that … ‘I’m supposed to be this man that [came] before me.’ And I’ve had times where I’ve stumbled and rambled — that’s because you’re too in your head and your ego’s too big.
There’s a lot of interesting moments in the film involving a world beyond Earth. If you could visit “other worlds,” what do you imagine they’d be like? What do you think you’d find?
Hmmm, I’m gonna say what’s on my mind — I feel like there would be giant beetles, like a trail of them walking around doing stuff. There’s an island off Tanzonia that has giant toads. It’s amazing — you should go.
Definitely a trip I’ll keep in mind. What’s the biggest message you took away from the film that really stuck with you?
What it says about exploitation was a big thing — seeing how that comes, how we use ourselves and use … things that aren’t aware they’re being used in order to make money … and to capitalize on it. I feel that’s a big thing — and also, spectacle. The obsession with attention and how we are allured by things that are not good for us, but we can’t take our eyes off them. We override ourselves in the quest of seeing something that we haven’t seen before or very few people have seen.
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