British actor Daniel Kaluuya is done with the media shuffling the race card when it comes to his work.
The actor told the Radio Times recently that he cannot ignore that he’s “surrounded by [racial issues], but I’m not defined by it. I’m just Daniel who happens to be Black.”
While Kaluuya has been busy building a solid resumé in London with roles that don’t have anything to do with race, he was cast into the international spotlight with his star turn in Jordan Peele’s Oscar-nominated film, Get Out, which is about a Black man who discovers that his White girlfriend and her family have a horrible secret.
Kaluuya followed that performance with a string of roles, including the box office behemoth Black Panther, Widows and the critically acclaimed, Queen & Slim.
In Queen & Slim, Kaluuya’s Slim is driving home after a lackluster Tinder date, but never makes it there because he gets pulled over by a police officer, whom he shoots in self-defense. He and his date, played by Jodie Turner-Smith, then go on the run.
According to The Guardian, Kaluuya might have had some “reservations” about taking on a role that would invite the media to make him “the race guy.” But he was attracted to Queen & Slim’s poignant love story.
“Yes, it’s got those moments [about race], but that’s more of a catalyst,” he told the British daily newspaper.
This summer, Kaluuya is reportedly starring as Fred Hampton in the upcoming movie about the activist’s life.