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Jordan Peele Thought Winston Duke Was Too Big for Us (Literally)



Duke as M & # 39; Baku in Black Panther and Gabe in Us .
Image: Marvel Studios, Universal

Black Panther shot Winston Duke stars, thanks to his immense presence ̵

1; not just his scene – stealing swagger, but the fact that he is literally six feet and five and 230 pounds . But the physicality that made M & Bak's such an impressive presence in Black Panther was almost too much for Jordan Peele to imagine Duke in Us .

Talking to the Hollywood Reporter as part of an extended profile on the actor, Peele briefly discussed meeting Duke in person at the 2018 Oscars. The actor introduced himself to the director as a fan of the his work, and at the time, Peele was looking for someone to join Lupita Nyong & # 39; o – not just Duke's co-star in Black Panther but also colleague Yale alum with a role starring in Us his second directorial project after Exit .

Like the rest of us, Peele was in love with the charm that Duke showed as M & Baku in Black Panther but at the same time, he was initially worried that the casting of the actor like Gabe, the father in Us & # 39; family unit beset by gruesome doppelgangers, could make horror … a little less horrifying for the public:

It would take us away from our ability to feel fear [for the family] if they have M & Baku on their side . [But] Winston had this charisma that only stole scenes and really left an impression.

Basically, the Duke was too damned robust to be initially conceived as in danger. But, as Peele continued, Winston's charisma won, and as we know now, he got the role.

At first, it might seem strange to think that such a large and physically dominant performance in Black Panther may have cost Duke his chance for the role. But it's something that, as Duke says elsewhere in the profile, is a reflection of how he wants to challenge in his acting career:

I liked playing M Baku, but that's not what I am. I want to convey the full spectrum of masculinity. I want people to say that this guy helped change the definition of masculinity on the screen in 40 years. I'm trying to be that person.

Being the muscular and muscular head of the Jabari in Wakanda is one thing, but seeing the Duke shine in different roles in different roles is just as satisfying.


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