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Jordan Peele explores the horrors of racism with 'Get Out'

Jordan Peele on the set of
Jordan Peele on the set of "Get Out."
Justin Lubin/Universal Pictures

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Jordan Peele, an actor probably best known for his sketch comedy, is making his debut as a film director with the new horror movie, "Get Out."

For five seasons, with Keegan-Michael Key, Peele was part of the comedy duo "Key & Peele" on Comedy Central. It's a show that was described as "taking on everything from 'Gremlins 2' to systemic racism."

"Get Out," which Peele wrote and directed, follows a young black man named Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) as he and his white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), meet her family for the first time. 

After the two head out of town for a weekend visit, things soon take a turn for the creepy:

Jordan Peele spoke with The Frame's John Horn about "Get Out," the racial issues the film touches on, and his love for the horror genre.

Interview highlights:

On what inspired him to write "Get Out":

It did start with an idea of addressing race with a horror film and feeling like that was a missing piece of the conversation. And then also I feel like there's an element to this movie that fulfills the representation that the stereotypically black horror movie audience needs out of their horror movie, which is B---h, get out the house! Why are you still there? Call the cops! You know, I wanted to make a movie where that audience is satisfied.

On his love for the horror genre: 

It's one of those things that is in my marrow. I was very afraid of horror movies as a kid. I had a wild imagination, and it was kind of uncontrollable. And at some point I grew up and I began to respect these films that could affect me so powerfully. So that was a little bit of a turning point ... I think there's a life-long journey to conquer your own fear. The first step for me was respecting these people who had mastered it.

On how the film addresses racism among liberal elites:

I didn't want to make stereotypically racist white people [as] racists in this movie. I wanted to sort of pull back the layers of how really race is in all of us. And if you don't think you're facing it personally you're kind of part of the problem here. This movie's also about the neglect of very serious issues — about the fact that we have a disproportionate amount of African American men in prison. In a lot of ways, this movie is an allegory for us not acknowledging that as a serious problem.

On whether the current political climate following Donald Trump's election changes about how the film will be received:

When I first made it, I feel like it was a conversation people were not necessarily open to having, which is kind of the point. Now I think it serves as a release from all the sort of daily bulls--t that is, for many of us, the racial conversation and how it's handled. So I think it will be something that people are more ready to talk about and a movie people are ready to see.

"Get Out" opens in theaters on February 24th.

BONUS AUDIO: Jordan Peele aces The Frame's horror film score quiz. Listen and see how you match up!


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