Queen & Slim star and British actor Daniel Kaluuya may have broken into the industry by utilizing roles in films that creatively addresses the issue of race in America, he doesn’t want to be typecast because of it.
“What is there to talk about race?” Kaluuya said. “It’s just boring to me. What’s the debate? I’m more of a doer — I’m just going to do what I want to do.”
While the Black Panther star may be tired of discussing the matters, he notes he’s not oblivious to the plight that he faces daily—he just refuses to be defined by it.
“I’m not going to ignore that I’m surrounded by [racism], but I’m not defined by it,” Kaluuya continued. “I’m just Daniel, who happens to be black.”
While the actor addressed that he gained mainstream success in films that largely took the topic head on, he asserts that his also resume includes a variety of television shows and movies where the characters and narratives weren’t.
“The Fades ain’t about race, Psychoville ain’t about race, Skins ain’t about race, Chatroom ain’t about race, Johnny English Reborn ain’t about race,” Kaluuya said. “But that almost gets erased. There’s a narrative that is pushed.”
Although Queen & Slim is being championed as the modern day Black Bonnie and Clyde story, Kaluuya states that it was the underlying love story that drew him to the role more than anything else.
“Yes, it’s got those moments [about race] but that’s more of a catalyst,” he said.
Despite his objections to being typecast, Kaluyya is gearing up to star in a biopic about Fred Hampton, the Chicago-based assassinated leader of the Black Panther party. The film, which is still in development, is set to be directed by Black Panther‘s Ryan Coogler and will also star Kaluuya’s Get Out co-star, Lakeith Stanfield.
At the time the project was announced, Kaluuya made a similar statement noting that it’s a lot of pressure for one Black celebrity to be labeled as the spokesperson for all Black people.
“I’m not a spokesperson, I’m an individual,” Kaluuya told The Guardian at the time. “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.”