Daniel Kaluuya has spoken out at the different pressures leveled at black and white actors in Hollywood.
Since landing the lead role in Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out, Londoner Daniel has been catapulted to the big time.
He even landed an Academy Award nomination for his role in the smash hit horror, with his Oscars nod marking only the second time a black British actor has been up for the prestigious Best Actor gong.
Much like fellow Brits Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor and David Oyelowo, Daniel was able to launch a global career after starring in a U.S. feature, though the 28-year-old is quick to point out the same discussions wouldn’t be had if he was a white actor.
“Do you know what I think is odd? When a white actor goes from England to Hollywood, nobody says a word,” he sighed to The Telegraph. “David was going to America to play Martin Luther King (in Selma). If a white guy could do that, he would. Instead, it becomes a part of this narrative of black struggle and failure. When Chiwetel was nominated for an Oscar but didn’t win, the coverage was all ‘he got rejected’. And I was thinking, how can you put a negative spin in this?”
Over the past 12 months Daniel has fast become a force to be reckoned with in the industry, thanks to starring roles in Peele’s movie, and the Black Panther flick, and regularly speaks out about racism.
However, he’s not interested in being a representative for black people and is getting annoyed that people want to peg him as one.
“I’m not a spokesperson; I’m an individual,” he recently told The Guardian. “Who’s the spokesperson for white people? There isn’t one.”
“No one’s expected to speak up for all white people. I’m just living my life. I’m a black man, I’m proud of it, but I’m just living my life,” he continued. “I don’t see myself as a victim. You may victimize me, but you will not make me feel like a victim. And if you think you can, then what sort of person are you?”