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Jordan Peele is becoming a hugely influential figure in the entertainment industry. He already had a good amount of notoriety for his work with Keegan-Michael Key on the sketch comedy television series Key & Peele. However, it was Get Out that really propelled him to another level of fame and clout in Hollywood. He wrote and directed that film which went on to receive widespread acclaim as well as Oscar nominations in categories such as Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. Get Out won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and, in a feature with Variety, Jordan Peele spoke about a lot of things he has strong opinions about.
Clearly, Get Out is one of them and this is what he had to say about the movie:
“‘Get Out’ is the beginning of a movement of representation in genre of social relevance in fun movies — of elegant, artistic movies that also can have great box office potential,” Peele says. “It’s the same in television. I think people recognize that if you’re going to make something in this subgenre, we’re the experts.”
Genre is also something that Jordan Peele has strong views on and Peele has this to say on the importance of genre:
“Genre is important to me because that’s what I love to watch. Every now and then, a drama will really get me, but for my money, I look to cinema, I look to television as an escape. And that means an escape from reality. I think one of the things that we try and do is provide an escape for our audience — but to not let that allow us to shut our eyes to what’s really going on in the world.”
For me, Jordan Peele’s strongest comments were aimed at Hollywood and how it has been plagued by a lack of imagination:
“There has been a lack of imagination in Hollywood, which sets us up to bring in really new, creative ways of storytelling. The imagination, especially, when we talk about representation, has been dull. For years and years and years, there’s this preconceived notion that diversity presents a struggle for projects. Well, the truth is, we haven’t invested in diversity. We haven’t invested in artists. So there’s a lack of courage, and I think, when you take leaps and you bring courage and confidence to projects, it works.”
The Twilight Zone
Courage was also something that Jordan Peele had to muster when he tackled the daunting task of taking on rebooting TV show The Twilight Zone:
“I was terrified. Why would I ever jump into the most established, pristine shoes in all of the genre? I could rip ‘Twilight Zone’ off and call it something different and not be compared to Rod Serling. So I stepped away from it. And then several months later I got another call.”
“The realization, for me, was that it was an opportunity to attempt to continue with Serling’s mission. If we approach it without ego and sort of bow to Serling, that will hopefully suffice for our fellow ‘Twilight Zone’ fans but also bring back a show that I think is needed right now. Because it’s a show that has always helped us look at ourselves, hold a mirror up to society.”
Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here on Soapbox as well as my reviews which you can also find at my blog theturnertalks.com.