Any good Hollywood stardom fantasy involves walking the red carpet at the premiere of the movie that changes your life and career, but that didn't technically happen for Daniel Kaluuya. In an appearance on The Graham Norton Show this week, Kaluuya revealed that he never got an invitation to Get Out's world premiere back at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
"I was in Atlanta because I was shooting [Black] Panther," said Kaluuya. "And I was chilling. I cleared my schedule...and then I just didn't get an invite."
"So I was just in my bed, and someone texts me and said 'It's gone really well,'" he continued. "You don't want to be in a place you don't feel wanted, you feel me?"
Sundance's laid-back attitude means that premieres at the festival forgo the glitz and glamour of your typical Hollywood red carpet event, and not everyone involved in the film is on hand. Still, a buzzy Sundance premiere can do wonders for an actor's career, especially if they're actually there. Call Me By Your Name premiered at Sundance just one day before Get Out. Timothée Chalamet was present, and essentially kicked off a year-long, globe-trotting press and promotional tour that would render him a star. You have to figure that Kaluuya, who had a steady career but was best known at the time for his work years earlier on British cult hit Skins, would have appreciated the same experience.
Though, it doesn't appear that it was a situation in which Lil Rel Howery and Allison Williams were sitting around eating canapés at some ski lodge when a Catherine O’Hara Home Alone moment occurred and someone suddenly screamed that they had forgotten to invite Daniel. The film just didn’t have much of an all-out presence at Sundance. Co-star LaKieth Stanfield was at the festival that year, but looking back, most of the press and promotion he was doing was centered around two other films he had in the festival, The Incredible Jessica James and Crown Heights. Bradley Whitford was the only actor who stood on stage with director Jordan Peele in a post-premiere Q&A.
If anything, the situation underscores how much of a surprise breakthrough Get Out was. Clearly, someone thought they might have something special by premiering it at Sundance in the first place, but it wasn’t tipped to be a breakout hit. It was a $4.5 million horror film directed by a former Mad TV cast member. On paper, it’s not exactly the kind of thing one expected to get a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars.
Though, Kaluuya did get to join his cast mates at several other events and screenings to promote the film. With a second Oscar nomination expected for his work in this year's Judas and the Black Messiah, it’s safe to say Kaluuya won't repeat the experience of not getting invited to his own premiere again.