Who Is Daniel Kaluuya? 5 Things to Know About the ‘Get Out’ Star

Daniel Kaluuya arrives at "Get Out" garden party on May 9, 2017.
Daniel Kaluuya arrives at "Get Out" garden party on May 9, 2017. Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Daniel Kaluuya is now a first-time Oscar nominee! The star was nominated for best actor for his role in the thriller Get Out on Tuesday, January 23. On the big night, he will go up against Call Me by Your Name’s Timothee Chalamet, Phantom Thread’s Daniel Day-Lewis, Darkest Hour’s Gary Oldman and Roman J. Israel, Esq. star Denzel Washington for the gold trophy.

Get Out was also nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Achievement in Directing and Best Original Screenplay for Jordan Peele. Kaluuya was previously nominated in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category at the Golden Globes.

The British-born actor, 28, who is new to the spotlight, recently opened up about the psycho-thriller’s success. While speaking exclusively to Us Weekly at Variety’s Creative Impact Awards in Palm Springs, California, on Wednesday, January 3, Kaluuya revealed that his costar Allison Williams was “batsh-t crazy” on set, which helped set the mood for the horror film.

Here are five things you need to know about Kaluuya:

He Was Born in London to Ugandan Parents
The SAG Awards nominee grew up on a council estate, which is the British version of a housing project, with his mother and older sister. Kaluuya told The New York Times in an interview published on Thursday, January 4, that his father lived in Uganda and Kaluuya didn’t reconnect with that side of the family until he was 15.

He Wrote an Award-Winning Play as a Teenager
Although Kaluuya’s mother was not interested in the creative arts, one of his teachers recommended he take on acting in order to stay busy, according to the NYT. Kaluuya then wrote a play, which went on to win a local competition at London’s Hampstead Theater.

Daniel Kaluuya in ‘Get Out‘
Daniel Kaluuya in ‘Get Out‘ Universal Pictures

He Got The Starring Role in Get Out After a Skype Conversation
Get Out director Jordan Peele initially wanted to hire an American actor for his film. However, after witnessing Kaluuya’s captivating performance in an episode of Black Mirror, Peele was persuaded otherwise. Before Kaluuya flew to Los Angeles to audition for the role, he convinced Peele via a Skype conversation that he was perfect to portray the lead character, Chris.

He Already Has Another Major Role Lined Up
Following the success of his debut film Get Out, Kaluuya is set to star in Marvel’s Black Panther flick, which will hit theaters on Friday, February 16.

His Career Is Just Getting Started
As for what’s next? Kaluuya told the NYT that he is currently writing a television series, as well as a film!

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