Jordan Peele is happy to give America a new narrative.
In a conversation series at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in East Hollywood, attended by The Hollywood Reporter, Peele opened up about his filmmaking process and why his stories aren't likely to include a white male protagonist.
“I don’t see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie," Peele said. "Not that I don’t like white dudes. But I’ve seen that movie."
In his latest film, "Us," Peele tapped Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o and "Black Panther" breakout star Winston Duke to portray the lead roles of a typical mom and dad. He said he realizes he's lucky to now have the power to insist on diverse casts in his movies.
“The way I look at it, I get to cast black people in my movies," Peele explains. "I feel fortunate to be in this position where I can say to Universal, ‘I want to make a $20 million horror movie with a black family.’ And they say yes.”
In fact, Universal's investment in Peele's film is already paying off: In its opening weekend, it pulled in more than $70 million domestically, according to Box Office Mojo, the largest weekend ever for an original horror movie.
Peele says now is the perfect time to change the narrative about what moviegoers want to see on screen.
"It really is one of the best, greatest pieces in this story, is feeling like we are in this time -- a renaissance has happened and proved the myths about representation in the industry are false,” he noted.
"Us" is now in theaters nationwide.