Daniel Kaluuya said he’s tired of being asked about race and doesn’t like when he’s expected to speak for every single black person.
It’s something the actor conveyed to Radio Times in an interview that recently surfaced, and he talked about just wanting to be an individual, nothing more.
“I’m not going to ignore that I’m surrounded by [racial issues], but I’m not defined by it,” Kaluuya explained. “I’m just Daniel, who happens to be black.
“What is there to talk about race?” he added. “It’s just boring to me. What’s the debate? I’m more of a doer. I’m just going to do what I want to do.”
Kaluuya’s popularity shot up after being in films like “Get Out,” “Black Panther” and recently “Queen & Slim,” which have all been celebrated in the Black community.
But the actor said he doesn’t want to be pigeonholed and be the guy who only does movies about race or the Black struggle. The British born-actor also pointed to some of his previous work as an example that he said gets ignored because they don’t focus on the character being Black.
“’The Fades’ ain’t about race, ‘Psychoville’ ain’t about race, ‘Skins’ ain’t about race, ‘Chatroom’ ain’t about race, ‘Johnny English Reborn’ ain’t about race. But that almost gets erased. There’s a narrative that is pushed,” Kaluuya explained.
The 30-year-old talent also said he was reluctant to take on the role of Slim in “Queen & Slim” because he didn’t want to be flooded with questions about race during interviews. But it was the connection between the two characters that changed his mind.
In the Lena Waithe written film, Kaluuya’s character and Queen — played by Jodie Turner-Smith — have a run-in with a police officer during a date, and Slim shoots him in self-defense.
“Yes, it’s got those moments [about race] but that’s more of a catalyst,” Kaluuya said about the film.
“I’m not a spokesperson; I’m an individual,” he also stated. “Who’s the spokesperson for white people? There isn’t one. No one’s expected to speak up for all white people. I’m just living my life. I’m a black man, I’m proud of it, but I’m just living my life.”
Kaluuya also talked about those who see him as a victim because of the challenges that Black people face.
“You may victimize me, but you will not make me feel like a victim,” he stated. “And if you think you can, then what sort of person are you?”