×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Playback: Jordan Peele on ‘Get Out’ and Art’s Role Under a Trump Regime

Welcome to “Playback,” a Variety podcast bringing you exclusive conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films.

On this week’s episode, Jenelle Riley and I welcome back Variety Senior VP Tim Gray for one last round of Oscar predictions before Hollywood’s big night on Sunday. What are the tightest races? Is there a runaway sweep on the horizon or something more varied? Lots of questions. We’ll have answers in a few days.

Later in the show (27:58) I’m talking to “Key & Peele’s” Jordan Peele, whose directorial debut, “Get Out,” bowed at the Sundance Film Festival last month. A horror film with a definitive point of view, it feels like the beginning of a promising career for the comedian behind the camera. Going to Park City was beyond his wildest dreams, however.

Listen to this week’s episode of “Playback” below. New episodes air every Thursday.

Click here for more episodes of “Playback.”

“That was surreal,” Peele says of the Sundance experience. “It’s such an honor. I’m such a film geek, such a movie buff, and when you’re dreaming of what it might be like if you get to make a movie, you don’t include, ‘Yeah, you might get to go to Sundance.’ And it was a blizzard! I felt like Scatman Crothers trying to get to little Danny Torrance.”

At the Los Angeles premiere of the film, Peele — who is biracial — said that growing up and filling out paperwork for this or that, when it came to the question of race, he was always checking the “other” box. So it made it a very top-of-mind concept throughout his youth, and eventually he came to consider race a “nightmare,” one that he eventually felt he could translate to the screen in some way.

“Part of the process was I realized I’ve sort of done enough thinking about race, enough work in the comedy space, walking that line of how to deal with race in art, that I was uniquely equipped to deal with it,” he says. “Race in this country and in the world is this human demon. It is a monster that is in our DNA and I just realized if anyone was going to make a modern horror movie about race, it should be me.”

Peele being a huge horror fan to begin with, the transition into the genre was natural. But moreover, his work as a comedy writer flexed similar muscles that were vital when he set about constructing a thriller.

“It felt like the comedy education I got the last decade or so worked perfectly in this film,” Peele says. “I feel both horror and laughter are ways we face our demons, ways we deal with our fears of death. It’s about tension, tension, tension, then release, with a certain pinpoint precision. In a way that’s a metaphor for life and death. We spend our whole lives fearing the ultimate absurdity, which is that this is temporary.”

Among other things we also discuss his referencing of films like “The Stepford Wives” and “Rosemary’s Baby” on the movie, as well as his take on what the role of comedy and storytelling ought to be under the current regime in Washington. Hear all about that and more — including a generous dose of his Barack Obama impression — via the streaming link above.

Subscribe to “Playback” at iTunes.

Jordan Peele photographed exclusively for the Variety Playback podcast
Dan Doperalski for Variety
Jordan Peele photographed exclusively for the Variety Playback podcast
Dan Doperalski for Variety

More Film

  • Gkids Takes Salvador Simó’s ‘Buñuel in

    Gkids Acquires ‘Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Gkids, the U.S. distributor of ten Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations including this year’s “The Breadwinner,” has acquired North American rights to Spaniard Salvador Simó’s “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles.” Gkids will release the film theatrically next year. The animated feature is sold worldwide by Spain’s Latido Films; the all-rights [...]

  • Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) returns to

    Film Review: 'Mary Poppins Returns'

    Nostalgia is a quaint word, one that summons visions of things that are toasty, comfy, wholesome, reassuring — all qualities, as it happens, that we associate with the 1964 Walt Disney nanny-from-heaven musical “Mary Poppins.” Yet nostalgia can also be a magical thing. It’s the great time machine of human emotion, with the power to [...]

  • O_163_wem_1360_comp_v003_01,1159 2 – L-R: Gwilym Lee

    SAG Award Nominations: Biggest Snubs and Surprises

    At the SAG Awards nominations Wednesday morning, “A Star Is Born” led the film pack with four nods and while that wasn’t a surprise, there were plenty of snubs and surprises that caught us off guard. On the television side, a plethora of co-stars are competing against each other, as both male and female actors [...]

  • DF-04714_R2 - Jennifer Lawrence stars as

    20th Century Fox Takes Final Bow at CineAsia

    If it is possible to feel sympathy for the demise of a competitor, such feelings were on display Wednesday evening at the CineAsia distributors and exhibitors’ convention in Hong Kong. 20th Century Fox made what was expected to be its final product presentation at the event as an independent studio. The mega-acquisition of Fox by [...]

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    SAG Nominations Scorecard: Netflix Leads the Pack

    Netflix led the way among all networks and studios with this year’s SAG nominations, garnering 15 nods thanks to programming like “GLOW,” “Ozark,” “Grace and Frankie” and “The Kominsky Method.” “Ozark” was among the select group of titles to snare four nominations, along with “A Star Is Born” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” On the [...]

  • SAG Nominations: 'A Star Is Born,'

    'A Star Is Born,' 'Mrs. Maisel,' 'Ozark' Lead SAG Awards Nominations

    Musical drama “A Star Is Born” led the way with four SAG feature film nominations, while “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Ozark” each scored a quartet of TV nominations. “BlacKkKlansman” and “The Favourite” both took a trio of film nominations, followed by “Barry,” “GLOW,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and “The Kominsky Method,” each scoring three TV [...]

  • Marvelous Ms Maisel

    SAG Award Nominations: Complete List

    Nominations for the 25th annual SAG Awards were announced on Wednesday. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” led film nominations with four nods, including best actor for Cooper, best actress for Gaga, best ensemble, and best supporting actor for Sam Elliot. “BlacKkKlansman” and “The Favourite” followed close behind, both taking home a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content