In the last 5 years alone, he's appeared in an incredible series of films that have achieved critical, commercial, and cultural success. He's a current awards nominee and likely Oscar nominee for his unforgettable role in "Judas and the Black Messiah." He's the incredibly talented Daniel Kaluuya.
How You Know Him
He was the star of Jordan Peele's smash horror hit/social drama thriller "Get Out" in 2017. He appeared as W'Kabi in "Black Panther" in 2018. Also in 2018, he played a mob enforcer in Steve McQueen's acclaimed "Widows." In 2019, he was a man on the run opposite Jodie Turner-Smith in "Queen & Slim." And in 2016, he played Emily Blunt's principled partner in "Sicario."
He's currently bowing over audiences as real-life Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton in "Judas and the Black Messiah."
So yes, he's been really, really busy, with lots of interesting projects.
Their Life So Far
Born in London to Ugandan parents, Kaluuya took up an interest in the arts at an early age. By age 9, he had written his first play and was acting in his local theatre. As a teen, he starred in the popular comedy-drama series "Skins." By 2009, after several series and guest spots on shows like "Harry and Paul" and "Doctor Who," Kaluuya was picked by Screen International Magazine as a UK Star of Tomorrow.
In 2011, Kaluuya had a pivotal role in the hailed episode "Fifteen Million Merits" of the first season of "Black Mirror." It was this performance that later inspired filmmaker Jordan Peele to cast Kaluuya as the star of the breakout film "Get Out." Before that 2017 film, Kaluuya continued to rack up credits in BBC series like the supernatural "The Fades," and films like "Kickass 2," "Johnny English Reborn" and a great part as a combat vet turned lawyer and FBI agent alongside Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio del Toro in "Sicario."
Since "Get Out," Kaluuya's been ever-present at the cinema in worthwhile projects. His latest performance in "Judas" is likely his best. Nominated for Best Actor for an Academy Award for "Get Out," Kaluuya will probably repeat the feat with another nomination for his powerful, complex, layered work in director Shaka King's amazing work.
The Movie to Watch
"Judas and the Black Messiah" is must-see cinema. It is a powerful, devastating motion picture experience with Daniel Kaluuya at the center as real-life Black Panther Fred Hampton, the chairman of the Detroit chapter in the late 1960s. The story involves the infiltration of the chapter by William O'Neal (Lakeith Stanfield), who provided information about Hampton and the group's activities to the FBI. Determined to put down Hampton at all costs, the FBI used O'Neal to do their dirty work. The film is tragic, but it is also inspiring, showing Hampton's passion for the people, and his determination that his positive, good work would continue for generations.
What's Up Next
While no immediate project has been announced, Kaluuya has been attached, via his production company 59%, to an upcoming big screen version of the popular kids show "Barney & Friends." We'll love to see how Kaluuya updates the purple dinosaur for the next generation. In the meantime, be sure to catch "Judas and the Black Messiah."
More Black History Month Highlights:
About the Author
Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.