Jordan Peele (and the Internet) react to 'Get Out's big win
In the span of just over a year, Jordan Peele has gone from sketch comic to Oscar-winner. And he can barely believe it.
"I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible. I thought it wasn’t gonna work. I thought no one would ever make this movie," Peele said in his acceptance speech. "But I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone would let me make this movie, that people would hear it and people would see it."
As the first African-American director to win best original screenplay, Peele made Oscar history, beating out predicted front runners Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird).
Later in the press room, he talked poignantly about growing up with few black film directors to look up to and how young film hopefuls may be inspired by the success of such directors as Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, F. Gary Gray, Barry Jenkins and him.
"It's a Renaissance. This is something," he said of the growing number of black film directors. "I almost never became a director because there was such a shortage of role models. We had Spike Lee, John Singleton, the Hughes brothers, but they were the exception to the rule. I'm so proud to be part of … the beginning of a movement where I feel like the best films in every genre are being brought to me by my fellow black directors. … This is a very special time."
A number of celebrities also expressed their excitement for Peele's big win.
In a pre-show interview with ABC, Get Out best-actor nominee Daniel Kaluuya lauded Peele for his distinctive approach to directing the film.
"What Jordan's done in this and what the team has done in this ... everyone brought their all to it," Kaluuya said. "I felt like Jordan was going to get in trouble. So I kind of wanted to get in trouble."
Peele closed his speech expressing gratitude to his fans, thanking them for shouting out at the theater, for shouting out at the screen and reminding them to "keep going."
Later in the press room, Peele showed his comic chops when asked if he were inspired by awards season, a long campaign of lunches, speeches, interviews and ceremonies.
"I've often joked if there’s a Get Out 2, it will take place at an awards show, where it might look something like this," he said, referring to an Oscars theater and press room made up largely of white faces.
But he also expressed his appreciation. "The most beautiful part about this for me is all the full-circle moments of meeting heroes. Gary Oldman has been my favorite actor since Bram Stoker's Dracula and True Romance. I got to sit down with him outside and we talked about this experience. Getting to meet Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, all my fellow nominees — these are moments that are priceless and I'll take them with me forever."
Contributing: Bill Keveney