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Daniel Kaluuya worked steadily as an actor for years before heading to Hollywood. The English actor appeared in Doctor Who, had a small role in Skins, and had a sizable part in Johnny English Reborn. Kaluuya quickly found success in big-budget movies and has earned two Academy Awards nominations, but he once said his mother wasn’t all that excited about it.

Actor Daniel Kaluuya (right) and his mother Damalie Namusoke attend the premiere of 'Queen & Slim.' Kaluuya once said his mom showed no excitement for acting success and Oscar nomination for 'Get Out'.
Actor Daniel Kaluuya (right) and his mother Damalie Namusoke | Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Daniel Kaluuya didn’t need long to make a name for himself in Hollywood

Kaluuya steadily built his resumé and reputation in the U.K. with several notable roles in TV movies and series. Before becoming an Oscar-winning actor, Kaluuya played a small part in the horror movie Chatroom.

Notable Roles in Kick-Ass 2 and Sicario came before Kaluuya gave a defining performance as Chris Washington in Get Out. He earned an Academy Award nomination for his work, which included crying on cue by thinking of a color. Kaluuya picked up an Oscar for 2021’s Judas and the Black Messiah

Kaluuya has achieved a ton of success and still has a lot of career to go, but he once admitted his mom doesn’t get too enthusiastic about his acting success.

Kaluuya’s mom doesn’t get too excited about his acting success

Kaluuya was still only 30 when Judas and the Black Messiah was filmed in late 2019 and barely into his 30s when he picked up his Oscar for best supporting actor in 2021. Very few actors achieve that kind of success so young, but Kaluuya’s mother wasn’t all that excited about it. 

Jimmy Kimmel once asked Kaluuya if his mom gets excited about his acting success. The actor said his mother would prefer to see him working a job with a steady paycheck (via YouTube):

“No. That’s not even a joke. She’s just not [excited about my acting success]. Because there’s no stable income, she doesn’t understand it. She doesn’t understand the term freelance. She don’t get it. When I got nominated for an Oscar, I FaceTimed her; first person [I called]. I was like, ‘Yo, Mom. I got nominated for an Oscar.’ She’s like, ‘Congratulations. Does this mean you’re going to have a job?'”

Daniel Kaluuya describes his mom’s lack of excitement about his acting success

Kaluuya’s English accent is nearly undetectable in his movies, but he told Kimmel it’s still not good enough for his mother.

“We went to the Get Out premiere, and we was in the car after. I was like, ‘Mom, what did you think of my American accent?’ She’s like, ‘Nearly there,’” Kaluuya told Kimmel.

What movies is Daniel Kaluuya in?

In addition to the films mentioned above — Johnny English Reborn, Kick-Ass 2, Sicario, and Judas and the Black Messiah — Kaluuya scored roles in several notable movies. 

Get Out gave Kaluuya his breakout role, and he followed that by playing W’Kabi in Black Panther.  He then acted in Steve McQueen’s Widows, produced and starred in Queen & Slim, provided the voice of The Ghost of Christmas Present in an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, and followed Judas and the Black Messiah with 2022’s Jordan Peele-directed Nope.


Daniel Kaluuya Describes the Brilliance of Jordan Peele’s Comedy-Horror Blend

Kaluuya and Peele team up again as producers on Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul, which comes out Sept. 2. The English actor penned the screenplay and produces The Kitchen, which should hit theaters in 2023. 

Daniel Kaluuya’s mom may not show much interest in his acting success, but fans and critics definitely have.

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