Daniel Kaluuya may have made it big thanks to his leading role in the new hit thriller "Get Out," but not everyone is so certain he deserved to be cast.
Last week legendary actor Samuel L. Jackson had some harsh criticisms for the British star, saying that director Jordan Peele should have signed an actor from the U.S. instead, since the movie was based around African American racial experiences.
"I tend to wonder what that movie would have been with an American brother who really feels that," Jackson explained in an interview with New York’s Hot 97. "Some things are universal, but [not everything]."
Speaking to GQ on Tuesday, Kaluuya addressed Jackson's misgivings.
"When I’m around black people, I’m made to feel ‘other’ because I’m dark-skinned,” he declared. "I’ve had to wrestle with that, with people going ‘You’re too black.’ Then I come to America, and they say, ‘You’re not black enough.’ I go to Uganda, I can’t speak the language. In India, I’m black. In the black community, I’m dark-skinned. In America, I’m British. Bro!"
"I see black people as one man… I resent that I have to prove that I’m black," he continued. "I don’t know what that is. I’m still processing it."
But although some may feel an American actor was a better fit for the role, Kaluuya asserts that he's no stranger to racism.
"I did a shoot in Lithuania when I was 17. Everywhere I went people were pointing and staring," he told the BBC. "Or when I go to Lidl and I get followed by security guards. Is that because it's me, I'm black or what I'm wearing?"
"It's every day, navigating your life, getting stopped by police, I've had it all."
He later shared that he's even lost roles because he's black.
"All I know is this my first ever lead role in a film and I've lost out on a lot of roles because I'm black," he said. "It's my one shot. I'm going to come through it and do my thing and go home."
But despite the harsh words, the 27-year-old still paid his respects to Jackson for his work in film.
"Big up Samuel L Jackson," he told GQ. "Because here’s a guy who has broken down doors. He has done a lot so that we can do what we can do."