Jordan Peele became an instant horror-movie legend with the release of “Get Out” in 2017. It’s hard to believe that before that movie’s release, Peele was best known for comedy — but in his short time in the horror sphere, he’s dropped terrifying hit after terrifying hit. July’s “Nope” only cemented his aptitude for creating surreal, cinematic, and truly innovative horror, and with talk of a sequel swirling, it’s clear that his filmmaking career is still in its early stages.
Over the years, the multitalented star has experimented with everything from acting in sketch comedy to executive producing. In addition to his talent for the spine-chilling and disconcerting, he’s also delved into the world of animation and kids’ movies, voicing parts in “Toy Story 4” and “Captain Underpants.” Up next, he’ll blend horror and animation with the movie “Wendell & Wild,” rejoining longtime “Key & Peele” costar and collaborator Keegan-Michael Key in the stop-motion flick.
Though his work bridges genres that are often seen as polar opposites — namely horror and comedy — Peele sees a connection between them. “The reason they work, why they get primal, audible reactions from us, is because they allow us to purge our own fears and discomforts in a safe environment,” he said in a 2017 interview with The Guardian. “It’s like therapy. You deal with deep issues that are uncomfortable with the hope that there is a release.”
Peele’s career is a testament to the fact that disparate genres, as well as different aspects of moviemaking, can all work together seamlessly. He began his career on the MTV series “Mad TV” in 2003, and the popularity of “Key & Peele” helped push him toward mainstream stardom. He spent a while focusing on TV, cocreating the YouTube series “Weird City” and the TBS comedy “The Last O.G.” and was the host and producer of CBS’s revival of “The Twilight Zone” from 2019 to 2020. But his films are where his exceptional talent has been allowed to take flight, giving us some of the most unique and innovative horror movies in recent memory. The movie that started it all, “Get Out,” is playing on Oct. 9 as part of Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween series, so be sure to catch it there — if you haven’t seen it, this is definitely your chance.