Daniel Kaluuya Thanked ‘Widows’ Director Steve McQueen For Calling Him ‘Weird’

In the last few years, Daniel Kaluuya has earned nothing but praise for his work in films like Get Out and Judas and the Black Messiah. But while working on the action movieWidows, director Steve McQueen called the actor “weird.” And Kaluuya was surprisingly appreciative of the sentiment. 

Daniel Kaluuya plays a villain in ‘Widows’ 

In McQueen’s 2018 action film, WidowsViola DavisMichelle Rodriguez, and Elizabeth Debicki portray the widowed wives of men killed after trying to steal from the mob. Brian Tyree Henry plays Jamal Manning, the mob boss and rising politician who believes the Widows are indebted to him. And Kaluuya portrays Jatemme Manning, Jamal’s brother and enforcer who brutalizes anyone who stands in their way. 

In one intense scene, Kaluuya’s character interrogates two of his henchmen — played by The Cool Kids rap duo Michael Rocks and Chuck Inglish — and asks them to rap. After staring them down within an inch of their faces, Jatemme shoots them point blank. 

The scene is undoubtedly one of the most memorable of the movie. And it proves Kaluuya has the chops to play a gritty, ruthless villain. 

Daniel Kaluuya thanked Steve McQueen for calling him ‘weird’ 

daniel kaluuya steve mcqueen
Daniel Kaluuya, winner of Actor of the Year, and Steve McQueen attend the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2018 in association with HUGO BOSS at Tate Modern on September 5, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Hugo Boss)

In a recent interview with Sean Evans for Hot Ones, Kaluuya talked about what it was like filming the henchmen rap scene. And he revealed that at the time, McQueen called him a “weird” actor. 

“He’s probably the only one other person who has said something about my acting, and I feel like, ‘Oh yeah, you’re accurate,'” Kaluuya said. “He came up to me and was like, ‘You’re weird.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I am, thank you.'” Kaluuya also praised the director. “He knows how to talk to people, and [he’s] very intuitive.” 

The Cool Kids recall Daniel Kaluuya getting into character while filming ‘Widows’ 

In a 2018 chat with Complex, The Cool Kids talked about what it was like working with McQueen and Kaluuya. They revealed that in one scene, where Jatemme kicks and stabs a man who uses a wheelchair to get his money, Kaluuya went all in. 

“I really liked Daniel Kaluuya in the bowling alley,” Rocks said. “It was this really powerful scene, man. I just saw that Daniel was really psycho at that point. He’s crazy as s***. It looked really cool, though.” 

Inglish and Rocks were blown away by Kaluuya’s performance during their rap scene. And while they didn’t refer to him as “weird,” they did admit to learning a lot from him as actors. 

“I don’t think I could have gone to some fancy acting school and learned more than what I learned from just our first three takes,” Inglish recalled. “You know, there was things I learned about how to actually act within the first half an hour of meeting him. And so I feel like I told him that when we went to lunch. Like I never seen no s*** like that before.” 

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