Jordan Peele on ‘Us’ & His Future Projects | The Big Picture | MTV News

Jordan Peele on ‘Us’ & His Future Projects | The Big Picture | MTV News

(music) – Thanks for stopping by. – Always a pleasure. (music) – It was only a few short years ago that you and Keegan
were shooting water guns into my crotch. (Josh and Jordan laughing) The transformation is complete, my friend. Which is very apropos, given the duality at the heart of this film. – Yes, you don’t know whether or not I’m myself, or if
my tethered dopplegänger has come up and killed the real Jordan. And now I’ve decided
to make horror movies. – I didn’t even think of it that way. But is it more satisfying in a way, you’ve obviously achieved such success, in the comedic space, as much acclaim as you can get. Is there something almost more satisfying to get this kind of acclaim
on ‘Get Out’ and ‘Us?’ – Yes. I’ve been in comedy for, you know, many years, I was in comedy, and I got my fair share of laughs, and I failed at getting my fair share of laughs. And laughter is great. It feels awesome, but,
when you make an audience, like, (shudders), when
you get that shudder, it is a different level of, like power. It’s just so cool, and I think part of it is because it’s, it’s helping me conquer my own fears. – Right. – This whole thing. – Well, it’s funny,
because I would imagine one of the kind of stock
questions people ask you, for these last two films, these sort of recurring nightmares. Right? And, I’m guessing almost one of the recurring
nightmares, if I were you, would be, how do I succeed ‘Get Out?’ How do I not disappoint, audiences, getting the Oscar, becoming a pop culture
phenomenon? Were you racked with that kind of burden, going into this one? Because
it’s a tough act to follow. – Yes, I was very racked with that burden. You know, last year at the Oscars, I went to … I’m gonna tell a cool story about myself. (Josh laughing) If that’s okay. – They’re only cool stories about you. – I went to the Gold Party afterward, which is Jay-Z’s party. So I met Jay-Z, and I’m like, aaaaaah, and he’s giving me, “No, you. What you’ve done, like you don’t even understand.” And I was like, “Did you see it more than once?” He was like, “What!? What!?” And so it was the coolest night, and at some point is was like, how do you follow this up? It worked perfectly, I’m just afraid I’m not gonna be able to
replicate, or beat it. And he goes, “It doesn’t matter. “You already did that.” And I was like, you know– – It’s all gravy now, it’s all– – When Jay-Z … When Jay-Z tells you it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. You’re good. I’m good. And I could just return to this idea of, make my favorite film that didn’t exist. – We’ve talked before
about, we both grew up here in New York City, yet these first two, kind of, installments in this new career, they’re not about urban environments. Do you find suburban settings, non-urban settings, more chilling, more disturbing than horror set in an urban environment? – Horror movies that are … take place in dark, dusty, muddy houses or basements, it’s kind of like, meh.
– What do you expect? – But the horror movies that take place in idyllic environments, you know, ‘The Stepford Wives,’ the Jaws, even ‘The Shining,’ the horror you can get from daylight and places that are supposed to be a vacation, I think that they’re eerier, scarier, you know, there’s a more satirical horror to them. Also they kind of give the audience their cake and they get to eat it, too. – Right. – They get to kind of go on an adventure, or a vacation, as opposed
to being claustrophobic, and– – Totally, totally. – So that’s my style. – You’ve talked a little
bit about how this film, is dealing with this
pervasive fear of the other, that is in the zeitgeist right now, in particular, I’m curious, do think this film would have emerged in your brain had the election of 2016 not happened? How much of it is born out of our lives and times right now? – You know, hard to say. The first I do, when I’m trying to come up with a movie, is, I listen to myself. So listen to my emotion,
what makes me scared, you know, this idea of the dopplegänger came up because I’ve been afraid of the idea of seeing myself since I was younger, – What do you mean by
that, seeing yourself? – Well, I would literally picture myself across the subway platform, as a kid growing up in New York City, and it was a fun, sort
of titillating fear, but it was primal, and I didn’t, I hadn’t intellectualized it or hadn’t really thought about it, but it’s always been present, an idea of yourself giving
you a knowing smile, sort of indicating, I’m the version that was ready for this. There’s something chilling about that. So I wanted to make a dopplegänger story, and the idea of a family of dopplegängers, when I got that idea,
when I got that spark, I knew it would be a new direction in dopplegänger lore. Right? And then only in analyzing this and why this was coming up, do I get at this idea,
because collectively we have a dark side. Right? To answer your question, I didn’t set out to make a movie about
a post-Trump America, but, it’s not an accident that these were my fears, were surrounding this sense of us, as a collective. Our demons. Certainly I, at a certain point, decided to use United States imagery, from, whether it’s the genocide of the Native American people, or our xenophobia, and privilege. But however you define us, in order for you to have us,
there’s gotta be a them. – Right. – And I think that’s, in its core, what this movie is about, is we will value our own, however we see it, more than we’ll value the other. – How important is it for you, that, at the center of this film, is middle-class to upper-middle-class African-American family, we talk a lot about representation now.
Growing up did you see yourself depicted in
horror movies generally? And how important is it for you nowadays to kind of change that? – No, I didn’t. The closest would’ve been ‘The People Under the Stairs,’ which was actually pretty darn close. A little black kid in a house of, a house where there’s a psychotic, weird, kinky white family. Great film. But otherwise, no. There was no black families in the center of a horror film. There’s elements of this film that are following in
the Amblin tradition, of family working through their dynamic. – Right, the ‘Poltergeist’
kind of a thing. – The ‘Poltergeist,’
‘Jaws,’ Close Encounters. And when I realized, yeah, we haven’t gotten a black family in that scenario, I realized that there was a whole, different reason this movie was important, even though the movie itself, plot-wise, is not about race. – Sure. I think this is Lupita’s first leading role? – Yeah. – In a film, which is just bananas to even think about. – Yeah. If not our most talented star that we have, and I think,
if the opportunities have come by her, they probably haven’t been good enough. – Right. – It just highlights this idea, that, we’re still very much in … living with the systemic, sort of, failure when it comes to representation, and I was just so lucky to get her and to be able help her show the world– – A couple of new sides
to her in this one. – Yeah. And, why she’s queen. – Well, it’s funny, I
remember we had a chat once where we talked about
your horror influences growing up, but also about sci-fi, and you talked about
your love of ‘Aliens,’ growing up and how you were obsessed, you had the face-hugger. – Over my bed, I had the face-hugger, just dangled over my bed. – That’s the first indication that things are gonna go– – Something’s wrong. – Gonna go weird as
some point in your life. – The call’s coming from inside the house. – Exactly. So, clearly, there’s the shadow of Ripley, I would
think, a little bit here. – Oh, hell yeah. – That classic, iconic character. – Yeah, yeah, yeah. – Is that something you
talked about with Lupita a little bit? – Yes. I’ve been telling her, look, this is gonna be a thing, you, going down to save your son, with a, spoiler alert, on your journey with your fire-poker weapon, it’s like, iconic, let’s go, mom-power stuff. That is so Ripley. She hadn’t seen it and I was on a plane with her recently, where
‘Alien’ was an option, the first one. – Okay. – And so we watched that, and she’s not the best equipped for horror movies, but I think that’s why she was– – Perfect. – Perfect. She’s ready to … the darkness is like, suppressed, like it is with most of us, so I think
she got some kind of, therapeutic– – She got something out
of it to … yeah, okay. – I think so. I think so. – One curious thing.
There’s so much iconography you’re playing with throughout the film, one is a prominent use
of a ‘Thriller’ t-shirt, Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller.’ And, I’m just curious, if you were making the film today, would you put that front and center still? There’s obviously, the dial around Michael
Jackson is changing, it feels like week by week now, and a lot of people are re-evaluating, where he stands in the culture. – If it was today, I probably would’ve thrown a couple more Michael Jackson– – Really? – T-shirts in. I mean,
he is a fascinating, being, and he … this moment, when it starts in the ’80s, there is this examination of ’80s duality, whether it’s Hands Across America, or Michael Jackson, ‘Thriller,’ actually, this is …
Hands Across America, the thing that inspired me to bring that in was, I believe, an MTV commercial. – Really? – For Hands Across America. – For those that don’t
remember, was – People tethering themselves together, hand in hand, to cure hunger. – Sure. It’s only natural. – Yes, and it sort of connected to me, in this Michael Jackson duality, that, there’s this great philanthropy with this underbelly of darkness, that is, kind of confusing, in the type of nostalgia it gives me. – Right. Coming off of ‘Get Out.’ It’s safe to say, the opportunities that were
at your feet were endless. I think it’s so cool
that you went this way, and if anything, this is more out there than ‘Get Out.’ I mean that as a compliment. – Thank you, I like that. – And I like that you, sort of, that’s how you tackled the expectations. But I’m curious, was it tough to say no to franchises? I’m sure you’ve had …
if I were a betting man, I would bet you a million dollars that Marvel offered you
several different films. Would you take that bet with me? – You know what? I did get a lot of amazing opportunities. And, they were, I think in retrospect they sort of amounted to something I was entertaining, because the dream, any one of these things is a dream come true. – Sure. – But in the back of my head I knew it wasn’t meant to be. There are a few of us out there, trying it’s scary work and it’s bold work to write original movies. And, whenever one of these things came up, or like rumors circulated,
my fan base would collectively tell me, “Noooo!” So, I love that. I love that. That to me, means, if
I write something new, and write it from the heart and try and make my favorite movie that doesn’t exist yet, if it fails, it fails. But I did what I’m here to do. – You’ve been open before
after ‘Get Out’ came out that you toyed with
ideas for a continuation of that story. Is there a treatment? Is there an actual document with ideas for a ‘Get Out’ sequel? – No. All of this stuff is in my head. I build a little bit
of a sandbox up there, of images, and ideas, and
sometimes they connect and sometimes they don’t. 80% of it will never see the light of day. – Right. – But, it’s all a part of staying as creative as possible. Following the fun of what I would want to see. – If there’s a downside to all the success, I would guess that, is the final nail in the coffin of your acting career, thanks to your success as a filmmaker? Like, are you entertaining ideas to act again, or are you just so down this path that it’s not even interesting to you? – Getting to host ‘The Twilight Zone’ is, will satisfy my on-camera desires, which really aren’t much. The anxiety of being onscreen is less fun than the anxiety of creating from behind the camera. – So more likely at this point for you to cast yourself or Keegan in one of your future films? – More likely for me to cast Keegan, by a longshot. – Also, you’re co-writing and producing the ‘Candyman’ continuation,
sequel, reboot? Whatever we wanna call it,
but what should we call it? – We’re calling it a spiritual sequel. – Okay. – Whatever that means, but– – I don’t know what that means. – I don’t either, but, it’s … yeah, we sort of reserve the right to connect to the mythology in our own specific way. – Right. And as if the last couple of years couldn’t get great enough for you, you also, are maybe most responsible for getting Spike Lee his Oscar. It wouldn’t have happened without you. That’s gotta be a crazy
source of pride to see, someone you grew up with. – I was very fortunate enough to be in the right position where QC Entertainment brought me this script, and I was able to hop on board and add some momentum to it and get Spike on board. And of course we deal with Focus and Blumhouse. It didn’t hit me until
Spike got his award, his Oscar, how historic, a thing this was to have been a part of. And, when that happened, I was just like, a faucet. Just watching him deliver his speech, and that was just like
30 years in the making. Just so– – It’s amazing. – Remarkable. – It’s been a good couple of years for you, man. Congratulations on ‘Us.’ Now, just for the record, should the Star Wars and Marvel folks not call you? Like, are you totally cool
on not hearing from them? Or should they keep your
number, just in case? – You know what? I’m good. – All right. I like that. – Okay, cool. – I’ve got a lot of stuff to do. – [Josh] Okay, excellent.

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  1. "Us" is an amazing;original movie. I love it for SO many reasons! I do just want to say I can think of one horror film where Taye Diggs makes it all the way to the end…"House on Haunted Hill". So please keep doing what you're doing Jordan Peele, it's genius. I always loved your comedy as well.

  2. The real twist.
    In real life Jordan peele has been replaced by his clone(tethered).
    This movie it's his confession😱.
    Bonus:eventually….yours Will come for you……😈

  3. You know he's a genius because he managed to take possibly the sweetest woman ever (lupita) and made her face haunt my dreams. Btw she killed this role.

  4. What I love the most about this film is that when you leave the theatre you’re still catching so many gems. Love art that has you questioning what you saw. Can’t wait to see his next project. Definitely buying the special edition of this film.

  5. “HandAcrossAmerica” In The #UsMovie Is Talkin About Proverbs 11:21…. And If You Look At Scripture From The Movie Jeremiah 11:11 Talks About Judah And Israel Breaking The Covenant…. Jordan Peele Knows He’s An Israelite And They Killed Nipsey Hussle To Collateral Damage The Progress Of Negroes Finding Their True Identity While Also Disrupting The Progress Of Nipsey Putting Out The Documentary Of Dr. Sebi

  6. Just watched Us yesterday…(no spoilers), I preferred Get Out by far, it had much better pacing. Us was very slow in the beginning and then boom, I would have preferred more tension like in the movie called "it follows"

  7. God I’m so happy for this dude, he deserves all the praise. He kills it in both of my favorite genres, this mans a genius.

  8. It’s questions that I have that some what doesn’t make sense in the movie, which is the kids and dad and how did they become, because the same man and women didn’t meet above ground that met in the tunnels and they have the same kids . There is no possible way ….

  9. People Under the Stairs is Wes Cravens most underrated movie, and by far one of my all time favorites. It ticks every box of 80's horror goodness.

  10. I dunno about Jay Z but Peele is a fantastic comedian, and as an absolute lover of the horror genre, I loved his movies

  11. Jordan Peele is a racist.

    Jordan Peele just pulled a Bree Larson. “I don’t hate white dudes, but… ” is the new “I’m not racist, but …”

    "I don't see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie," the writer, director and producer said during an appearance at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Hollywood Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Not that I don't like white dudes. But I've seen that movie."

    Just watch the first episode of the new Twilight Zone. The only white males are all presented negatively…

  12. If his next movie is not called, "Help" Imma be shocked. "Help" ,"us", "get out". I'm just waiting patiently.

  13. Original? Not really. Just whippin' out the Black Card on tried and true themes. Get Out looked like a clumsy made-for-cable film, mind-numblingly boring and downright grade-school cliche. And don't get me started about his HORRIBLE reboot of Twilight Zone. For fucks sake, people. You're all being served shit sandwiches convinced they're delicious and washing it down with asparagus piss.

  14. Although I find him intresting, Jordan Peele is not the representation of the black experience. He is a half white man who was raised and reared by his white biological mother, and is currently married and procreating with a white woman. 5:48 xenophobia = racism. He is oh so careful what he says 7:43 Lol "we are still dealing with" ….(awkward silence as he searches for the right words)… "systemic failure" 🤔 careful not to offend…anyway His films ARE rather enjoyable.

  15. Please don’t continue Candy Man..please continue to make originals!!!! So much of the new movies today aren’t really new if you know what I mean…

  16. I came into this movie like a detective and i was still lost but now all the dots are connected and this movie is a damn masterpiece of creativity had a lot of fun cant wait to see what jordan is cooking up next

  17. Why does the interviewer need confirmation that Peele doesn’t need to work with Marvel?! If he said he’s good, then he’s good. That annoyed me so much. Is like saying , “Are you sure you wanna say this…so you DON’T want help from the powers that be?” NO! Every time a large company touched something it turns to shit.

  18. Anybody notice how some of the question this guy is asking Jordan was negative and geared towards Jordan having to evade future failure from not being able to replicate the success from us as if he was a one-trick pony as well as constantly asking him about collaborating with white Executives without saying the word White it's like they never want to see a black man Shine without throwing a little shade

  19. I would like to know what all those tunels underground are being used for. Is there really a cloning experiment going in ? All these questions

  20. Of course MTV would have Jordan Peele's bigoted ass on their show, MTV hates white people too…………………………

  21. Michael Jackson’s underbelly of darkness actually fit in to the film ; and some of his darkness is in your face

  22. I want to see that next level that an interviewer asks the director "Why did you cast an all black family?" and the director says "why would you ask me that? Do you ask white directors why they cast all white families?" It's 2019. Please make race a non-issue in our lifetime.

  23. There are thousands of ORIGINAL works out here! Hollywood just keeps ignoring us!! They'd rather keep reselling Batman and Superman because its CHEAP!!

  24. It would be awesome if he directed a season of 'The American Horror Story'….. You'd just hear your neighbors screaming and yelling "oh shit" and you'd know what they're watching😂😂😂

  25. Yeah n my opinion Peele's better off without Marvel and Star Wars he doesn't need them if anything they need him and I hope he keeps churning out more original stories especially horror stories that he could bring 2 the big screen

  26. I had no idea Jordan Peele was such a huge fan of Alien!!! Can you imagine a horror movie about aliens directed by him? That would be so cool!

  27. There’s no need for a get out sequel. It was good as is. No need for sequels. Just keep making original content

  28. I just watched the movie for the 2nd time and I also found more secrets.

    When addalade says “I can feel her coming”, she can actually feel her coming because she IS the tethered, and the tethered knows where there doppleganger is, but their doppleganger doesn’t know where they are. It explains everything

  29. Jordan is a fucking genius. I personally hate horror and thriller movies but ive always been a fan of Jordan. I finally watched get out and loved it. Then i heard he was behind "Us" So i watched that and loved it. His movies are so different and original. Looking forward to more from him. Respect

  30. He Should Work On A Sleepaway Camp & Gremlins Reboots I Hope He Makes Sleepaway Camp So Terrying And Gremlins A Little Bit Scary 🙂

  31. Like how he said if there's an is there a them, to make them his character come alive very interesting


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  33. Us is still giving me goosebumps when I listen to the soundtrack, the psychology, story and directing of the movie is genius. Thank you Jordan

  34. I grew up studying horror film. Jordan Peele is the best in the game to date. I'm constantly challenged by his ability to make you question everything you've ever learned. He is pure brain candy. Congratulations 🛸

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