"They just got pulled over and Slim is realizing, 'This is out of my control. And the only reason why this is out of my control is because I'm black.' It's like, 'I can't even deescalate this situation.' It's a very difficult predicament to be in, and you can see that he's just trying to not go there, and then it goes there, and it goes in a way that he didn't expect." - Daniel Kaluuya
The conversation continues on police brutality
The film premieres amid an ongoing social discussion about police brutality in the real world, and focuses entirely on the titular duo's point of view. "Usually in these narratives, (it's) kind of like, 'Oh, we're gonna track them.' ... They're like, 'Where are they? They're in Arizona.' There was never that," Kaluuya said.
"It's about humanizing the people that are criminalized," he added. Christian Bale tells Daily News how he learned to drive like a race car driver for 'Ford v Ferrari' role » To get a better idea of what his fictional character would be like, Kaluuya says he visited a Costco in Cleveland where Slim might have worked, and spoke to employees. On his off days, he went to neighborhoods where Slim could've lived to further understand the role. Production in Cleveland involved filming during a polar vortex when temperatures dropped well below freezing _ an experience unlike any Kaluuya had gone through for a movie.
"Queen & Slim" has been compared to "Bonnie and Clyde" because it features a couple on the run from the law, but Kaluuya sees a key difference.
"The inciting incident within the 'Bonnie and Clyde' film ... would be, like, they robbed a bank. The inciting incident in 'Queen & Slim' is, not that they're black, but how they're perceived because they're black. That's the criminalization," Kaluuya said. Rather than setting out to commit a crime, Kaluuya says, Queen and Slim were just "trying to go home." He believes his movie's narrative aligns more closely with the 1991 drama "Thelma and Louise."
"Queen & Slim" is the latest film for Kaluuya that has plunged deep into a social discussion. "Get Out," for which he earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, garnered critical acclaim as a satire examining race, while last year's "Black Panther," in which Kaluuya played the warrior W'Kabi, is the most high-profile film to center on a black superhero.
"I think a premise (for a film) should be, like, 'What?' Like, oh, there's a horror movie about an interracial couple. 'What?' " Kaluuya told The News, referring to "Get Out."
"I know 'Black Panther' was in the Marvel space, but imagine colonization never happened and there's this country that exists away from the world in secret. It's like, 'What?' "These are big ideas," Kaluuya said, "and I thought 'Queen & Slim' was a big idea."