Daniel Kaluuya has had a breakout year, and tonight, he’s been nominated for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy at the 2018 Golden Globes.
Kaluuya played a lead character in the Black Mirror episode “Fifteen Million Merits”. The episode (Season 1 Episode 2) is based in a world in which people ride exercise bikes to power their surroundings and earn a currency called “Merits”. In the episode, Kaluuya’s character, Bing, meets a girl named Abi, and persuades her to compete in a talent game show (similar to ‘X-Factor’ or ‘America’s Got Talent’) so she can escape the restrictive society they live in.
“Fifteen Million Merits” received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics, with many saying they believe it’s the best of the Black Mirror episodes.
Kaluyya actually filmed Black Mirror in 2011, and it was his work on the show that helped get him the leading role in Get Out.
During an interview with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show last year, director Jordan Peele said, “I was him in episode 2… He was amazing. He did everything. He came in– he auditioned for this role and there was this one scene where he’s got to cry… he came in and just did it in the audition.”
Get Out has been an enormous win for Kaluyya. The actor, and the film, have bene nominated for a slew of awards at all the biggest awards shows this year, and fans are hoping it’ll get an Oscar nod. Speaking about the process of getting the role with Crave Online, Kaluyya explained that he got sent the script from his agent. He then Skyped with Peele. When he went to LA a few months later, he auditioned with the hypnotized scene and the scene at the lake with Rose. “I did those two scenes and he said in the audition, he said to Terri [Taylor] the casting director, ‘He’s got the part.’ And the thing is I don’t trust anyone. There’s loads of directors that kind of said ‘Blah-blah-blah-blah’ and I’m like, we’ll see. And then he texted me again: ‘You’ve got the part.’ I was like, ‘Myah, we’ll see.’ And then he’s like, ‘You’ve got the part.’ I’m like, ‘Myah…’ And then I was on set and I had the part. He’s true to his word and he’s committed to it, yeah. That’s pretty cool.”
Black Mirror is far from Kaluyya’s first on-screen work. From 2007 to 2009, he played Posh Kenneth in Skins. Other notable roles include many of British TV’s top shows, like Doctor Who, Silent Witness, Lewis…. He also appeared in The Fades, and Psychoville.
The actor recently wrapped up filming on Marvel’s Black Panther, and he is currently filming a TV miniseries called Watership Down, which boasts an impressive cast that includes James McAvoy as Hazel, Nicholas Hoult as Fiver, John Boyega as Bigwig, Ben Kingsley as General Woundwort, and Gemma Arterton as Clover.