The director says the mood was cordial, though ‘the vibe shifted’ after Trump took office
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, 2017’s Get Out, was one of the smartest horror films the decade had to offer. The horror comedy was Dazed’s top film of the year, and was also recognised with four Oscar nominations (winning Best Original Screenplay). You could even take a college course to help unpick its metaphors on racism, microaggressions, and white American liberalism.
Now, Peele has looked back on working with Donald Trump supporters on the set of the film, which was shot prior to the 2016 election. In conversation with the filmmaker for an ActBlue fundraiser, supporting actor Bradley Whitford notes that members of the crew were obviously pro-Trump, but that tensions weren’t as high as they might have been in the later stages of his presidency.
“We shot with people who were of different political persuasions and it was cool,” adds Peele. “I liked them. I liked the people down there.”
“There was this feeling of America that was still happening where we have different beliefs,” he goes on. “I may even kinda think you’re racist but we’re stuck here and we’re going to be cordial to one another and hey, maybe we might even connect. There were all these possibilities.”
However, Peele also notes that “the vibe shifted” once Trump actually took office. “It’s crazy, even as soon as he was voted out, all of a sudden it felt like I could fuck with them again now that he’s gone.”
The conversation between Peele and Whitford, shared via the Hollywood Reporter, also sees them discuss the making of the film, the reception from Black audiences, and why Peele has decided to give up performing in front of the camera.
Jordan Peele’s acclaimed follow-up to Get Out was 2019’s Us (which, yet again, was one of Dazed’s favourite films of the year). The filmmaker has since taken on more horror features, including a much-anticipated Candyman reboot and an update on Wes Craven’s The People Under the Stairs.