Who is Jordan Peele?
Jordan Peele is an American actor, director, comedian, producer, and screenwriter who is best known for his film Get Out, for which he won the Academy Award for the best screenplay. His movies and television shows are all about popular culture and race issues. He is known for making horror and comedy movies that delve into race and social issues of our times. He draws heavily from his personal experiences while writing and directing horror movies. For example, the fatherless heroin Get Out and the macho jerk father in Us are based on Peele’s fatherless upbringing. Another thing that he is very famous for is his perfect impersonation of Barack Obama. He was offered the chance to play Obama on Saturday Night Live but could not take up the offer due to his prior commitment to Mad TV. However, he got plenty of chances to impersonate Obama on Key & Peele. His shows and movies have been nominated and won many prestigious awards. Jordan Peele is also known for his voice-over work in movies, which include American Dad, Rick & Morty, Storks, and The First Epic Movie.
Childhood & Early Life
Jordan Peele was born on 21 February 1979 in New York, USA. His mother, Lucinda Williams, is white, while his father, Hayward Peele, was an African-American.
His father did not play any role in Jordan’s upbringing; Jordan barely saw him. He was mainly raised by his mother.
Jordan Peele was an introvert, who loved horror and science fiction movies. He was so drawn to horror movies that at the age of thirteen he made up his mind to direct one when he was grown up.
Even as a child, he was keenly aware of his biracial identity. It left a deep impact on him. He would hesitate to tell his black friends that his mother was white because doing so was often misconstrued as claiming that ‘you are above the rest’. However, he would still stand out amongst his friends due to his white man accent.
After completing his elementary education in public schools, he went on to attend The Calhoun School, which was a private high school.
He graduated from high school in 1997 and went on to enroll in Sarah Lawrence College.
His initial subject of study in college was puppetry but a class in comedy changed his career’s direction forever. He found comedy so inspiring that he left college in 1999 and formed a comedy group with Rebecca Drysdale, who was his roommate in college.
Jordan Peele then joined Boom Chicago, a theatre troupe based in Amsterdam. He lived there for several years.
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In 2003, Jordan Peele met Keegan Michael Key and decided to enter a comedy partnership. The same year they were given a role in the famous Fox TV show, Mad TV.
Peele and Key soon became household names and their roles won critical acclaim. Peele left the show in 2008.
In 2012, Jordan Peele founded his own production company called Monkeypaw Productions. The company not only produced Get Out and Us but also BlacKkKlansman (2018) and The Twilight Zone anthology series for the CBS All Access (2019-2020).
In 2012, he again partnered with Key to start their own show titled Key & Peele. The show aired on Comedy Central and consisted of comedy sketches on a wide variety of social and racial issues. They were also the producers and main writers of the show. Rebecca Drysdale was also one of the writers for the show.
The show ran till 2015—a total of five seasons. People loved their natural and brilliant comedy partnership. He is still fondly remembered for his brilliant impressions of Obama on the show.
The huge success of Key & Peele led to the pair being cast together in their first big movie titled Keanu (2016).
In 2017, Jordan Peele decided to follow his childhood dream of directing a horror film. Get Out was his directorial debut and it not only won critical acclaim but earned more than 250 million dollars at the box office. This was huge, given the fact that it was made on a 4.5 million dollar budget.
Jordan Peele made history when he became the first African-American to win the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Get Out. The movie also won the Writers Guild of America Award for the Best Original Screenplay.
In 2017, Peele was featured in Time magazine’s list of “The 100 Most Influential People.”
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In 2018, he decided to retire from acting after being approached for the role of the Poop in the movie, The Emoji Movie.
He decided to focus on production and direction. In 2018, Jordan Peele and John Carcieri created the hit TBS comedy series The Last O.G. The show had Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish in the lead roles.
In 2019, Peele wrote and directed Us and thereby proving again his grasp over the horror subject. Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Tim Heidecker, and Elisabeth Moss are the lead actors in the movie. The movie garnered more than 250 million dollars worldwide.
After the box office success of Get Out, Jordan Peele had announced that he plans to make four more horror genre movies dealing with race and social issues. So far, he has directed two and the third one will be released on July 22, 2022. The news has been confirmed by Universal Pictures.
In 2019, Jordan Peele featured in Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, which is a documentary film that delves into the relationship between the evolution of horror movies and African American history.
Get Out earned Jordan Peele an Academy Award and established him as a serious horror film writer and director. The movie is about a young black man and the racism that he encounters when he is introduced to his white girlfriend’s parents.
Us, which is his second directorial debut, was made on a budget of 20 million dollars and earned more than 250 million dollars worldwide. The movie was praised for its direction, screenplay, and theme. It is an unsettling horror movie that is designed to not only scare moviegoers but also make them question small things around them.
Family & Personal Life
In 2013, Jordan Peele started dating Chelsea Peretti, who is known for her role in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. They eloped and got married in 2016
On July 1, 2017, the couple welcomed their first child, Beaumont Gino Peele.