As Jordan Peele’s latest horror pic “Us” debuted at South by Southwest, the director and producer held three other screenings nationwide for mostly black audiences, using the hashtag #UsFirst.
The Los Angeles screening reportedly played host to several celebs, including John Legend, Janelle Monae, Ryan Coogler, Tracee Ellis Ross, Lakeith Stanfield, Robin Theade, and La la Milan.
Screenings also took place in New York and Atlanta. According to Bossip, it was announced before the Atlanta screening began that black media, influencers, film fans, and celebrities would be the first people to view “Us,” which stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as the father and mother of a family of four who are haunted by alt versions of themselves.
“Us” is a co-production between Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Blumhouse Productions. It’s being distributed by Universal. Evan Alex, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker also star.
The South By premiere, which opened the fest, screened to an ecstatic reception in Austin, Tex.
At a Q&A following the screening, Peele revealed — without mentioning the president’s name — that “Us” was inspired by Trump’s America.
“This movie is about this country,” Peele said. “And when I decided to write this movie, I was stricken with the fact that we are in a time where we fear the other: whether it is the mysterious invader that we think is going to come and kill us and take our jobs, or the faction that we don’t live near that voted a different way than us. We’re all about pointing the finger, and I wanted to suggest that maybe the monster we really need to look at has our face. Maybe the evil is us.”
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