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Bradley Whitford: Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ Is Commentary on ‘Unconscious, White Liberal Racism’

Variety logo Variety 2/11/2017 Sarah Ahern
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Jordan Peele  may be known as a comedian, but his once-hidden passion for the horror genre emerges in his directorial debut “Get Out.”

During a fittingly dark and rainy Los Angeles evening, director and writer Peele was joined on the Regal L.A. Live’s black carpet by the film’s stars Allison Williams, Daniel Kaluuya, Bradley Whitford, and Lil Rel Howery, along with producers Jordan Blum and Sean McKittrick.

In the film, Peele interweaves the terrifyingly social reality of racism with the horror genre, hoping to generate conversation about topics that are often pushed under the rug.

“I want this to be the type of movie where you say, ‘Whoa!'” Peele said. “You’re supposed to yell at the screen, ‘Get out, don’t do it!’ It’s got cheers, it’s got laughs, it’s got scares, but hopefully you’ll watch it, and then within the next couple days go, ‘Oh, snap.'”

In the theater, all of these reactions indeed infused the room, where some moments garnered bursts of laughter, signaling the humorous yet also subtly thought-provoking scenes.

Whitford, who stars as Dean in the film, also noted the fact that the film manages to touch on underlying topics in a subtle way.

“What’s really interesting about [the film] is it’s not a horror movie about overt racism, but it’s a very interesting way of looking at unconscious, white liberal racism,” Whitford shared.

“Part of the benefit of having someone coming from straight comedy to behind the helm of a movie like this is you don’t just have laughs sporadically, they’re timed perfectly to when you need them,” added Williams. “There’s a lot of laughter just from being uncomfortable that isn’t actually motivated by a joke, it just happens because people are just like, ‘I don’t know what to do with my body. I’m just going to laugh and hopefully that helps.'”

“Get Out” opens in theaters on Feb. 24.

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