Jordan Peele made Get Out in 23 days for $4.5 million dollars. It was a script that he kept seeing in his head but was uncertain about putting on screen. In fact, Peele was nervous about directing the film because he wasn’t sure that his vision would translate onscreen. When it finally came to fruition, his debut film Get Out; a stunning look at race in present-day America told through the horror genre shattered everyone’s expectations.
Last night, Peele took home the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay at the 90th Academy Awards. Standing backstage after the show, he was euphoric. Clothing his brassy gold statue, the writer/director seemed almost in disbelief.
“I didn’t know how important this was,” he marveled. “I always wanted this, but the campaign is grueling and there are times when I questioned what it was all about. You’re watching your last jump shot for a year, and as an artist that doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel right to be complacent. When the nominations came together for (Get Out), I had this amazing feeling of looking at a twelve-year-old that had this burning in my guts for this type of validation, and I instantly realized that an award like this is much bigger than me. This is about paying it forward to other people who might not believe they could achieve the highest honor in whatever craft they are trying to push for. You’re not a failure if you don’t get (an Oscar), but I almost didn’t do it because I didn’t believe that there was a place for me.”
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