Introducing The Cover Star of Essence's Digital Issue, Daniel Kaluuya
It’s been five years since the critically acclaimed project, which garnered Peele an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and Kaluuya a nomination for Best Actor (Kaluuya would later win this award for his role as Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah). Many have attempted to replicate their recipe of nuanced racial and social awakening against a backdrop of traditional slasher-film elements. Yet it that has proven not to be duplicatable—at least not without their involvement. This summer, Peele and Kaluuya will reunite for one of the season’s most anticipated movies, Nope, in theaters July 22.
"A lot of times when you're acting you just say the lines. That's the actual work—being wise enough to not act when the script's strong, and the story's strong, and the character's strong, and the relationship is strong. You’ve just got to say the words, and the script does it for itself."
Writer: Brande Victorian
Brande Victorian is a writer and savvy digital editorial leader known for authentic storytelling and viral, human-centered celebrity interviews. As the head of Entertainment at ESSENCE magazine, Brande has covered red carpet premieres from Los Angeles to London, offered commentary on Good Morning America and AP News, and been featured in Forbes. Throughout her career she's been profiled by Pose magazine, written for Teen Vogue, and had her work featured on daytime talk show The Real. She's also been invited to share her thoughts on Black women and pop culture with ESPNW, Yahoo! News Live, Pix 11, CBS Radio, The Cheddar Life, and The Root as the former Content Director of the Women's Division at iOne Digital.
Photographer: Erik Carter
Originally from Texas, Erik Carter began his career in New York City but now resides in Los Angeles. Though studying theatre and directing before pursuing photography, he uses that training to inform his process. He strives to highlight the stories surrounding Black and LGBTQIA+ communities, championing and celebrating the nuances of their many voices. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Hollywood Reporter, and Rolling Stone, among others.
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