Daniel Kaluuya earned a Best Actor nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his portrayal of Chris in Get Out, Jordan Peele’s breakout sociological horror film. The 28-year-old from London plays W’Kabi in Marvel’s upcoming blockbuster, Black Panther, and feels that his latest work, and other comic book films, deserve recognition from The Oscars.
“I [suggested] the hashtag to Marvel, ‘BP for BP,’ Black Panther for Best Picture,” he says of his burgeoning campaign. “That’s how we have to flex it right now. I think this is a film that’s up there.”
Black Panther follows Prince T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) navigating the aftermath of events from Captain America: Civil War where his father, King T’Challa, is killed. As he prepares to assume the mantle of Warrior King of Wakanda, there are several personal and public obstacles that he must first overcome. W’Kabi is T’Challa’s second-in-command who is fiercely protective of Wakanda’s sovereignty.
“I think The Dark Knight had that kind of push, Heath Ledger and stuff,” Kaluuya says of the celebrated second installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, which was anchored by Heath Ledgers’ haunting portrayal of The Joker. “There are no rules. Does it connect and the audience feels it’s up there? And if it is why not recognize it?”
He goes on to point out that 2016’s dystopian action flick Mad Max: Fury Road received ten Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and won six for technical achievements.
“I think we’re in that space where recognition in that kind of arena is more fluid, it’s not specific to just these kinds of films, these biopics that we’re championing as the best in cinema. It’s actually now across all genres, and whatever rises, rises.”
Fellow cast member Winston Duke, who plays the formidable M’Baku, added that the people will make the ultimate choice in Black Panther’s worthiness.
“And we have to take into consideration the fact that, the audience is going to speak and tell us what kind of movie that they value this as, and if they value it as that, who are these tastemakers and curators of culture to say that it isn’t?”