Writer and directorsays he’s made it his duty to process the world around him the only way he knows how: through his imagination. In his third feature film, “Nope,” featuring actors and , Peele channels his own fears into a world of science fiction and horror.
“First and foremost, I wanted to make a UFO horror film. And then of course it’s like, where is the iconic Black UFO film? And whenever I feel that my favorite movie out there hasn’t been made, that’s the void I’m trying to fill with my films,” Peele told “CBS Mornings” co-host Gayle King ahead of the movie’s recent release. “It’s like trying to make the film that I wish someone would make for me.”
Thefilmmaker said he wrote the movie at a time in which he felt most of society had “been living through a bad miracle,” and used his nightmares to tell the story, which follows siblings in the horse training business who suddenly find themselves dealing with an otherworldly phenomenon.
Peele says key elements of the film include “how we observe spectacle and our addiction to it.”
“I like to surprise people and I like to shock,” he said. “I like to provoke people who are in for a good provoking. I love the audience and I love feeling like the audience is rapt or they’re together in on something. I just love that.”
He says horror within films can serve as a channel from reality, noting that he’s “always scared.”
“I think we can all agree that it is a scary world,” Peele told King. “So I do feel like we need these outlets to face our fears. We just need it. And so I like to put us in a position where we’re safe, where we’re together and we don’t just feel the fear. We can feel the fun. We can feel the adventure. We can feel the love and the joy as well.”
Along with horror, “Nope” also conveys what Peele said is “a spectrum of moods,” including comedy. He says he enjoys combining horror and comedy within his work because when merged, they “make each other better.”
“You know, you’re scared and you are so ready to laugh,” Peele said. “You’re so ready to have that tension released.”
Peele also emphasized the importance of including Black joy as well.
“There’s only so much Black horror needed in this world where there’s so much real Black horror,” Peele said. “My responsibility also becomes, ‘OK, we have to transcend that as well. We have to tell a story about Black joy,’ because I haven’t seen that enough either.”
The director commended “Nope” actress Keke Palmer, calling her an “absolute treasure,” as well as actor Daniel Kaluuya, whose expressions he says are “so important” to the film.
“Daniel can just do so much with saying very little,” Peele said.
Over the weekend “Nope” debuted at No. 1 in the U.S. and brought in $44 million at the box office. Peele said he’s “very proud” of what he was able to accomplish.
“I’m living my dream,” he said.