Fennessey: The decision to not have Chris kill Rose at the end seemed very specific as well. What was the thinking behind that, and was it ever different?
Peele: Yeah. I had every version of the script. To me, the one that we used is the right one. I was questioned about it, in the making. I want to stick with my guns here because the audience thinks they want that in the moment. I don’t think they actually do want that. To me, the whole idea is, Chris is escaping. He’s got to get out. He’s committing violent acts for survival and this moment you’re describing is a moment where he’s faced with killing out of anger. I wanted him to hold on to his humanity and draw that line with what type of violence we should be cheering on. Not that any violence should be cheered on. But violence for survival, violence for self-preservation is something I think everybody can understand. Self-defense is where it’s needed, right? I just wanted to draw that line and say, “Look, we’re not going to take my lead character’s soul. We’re not going to turn him into what he’s fighting.”
Jordan Peele (writer and director): I had never seen the uncomfortableness of being the only black guy in a room played in a film. That notion is a perfect state for a protagonist of a horror film to be in, to question his own sanity. Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives were movies that did with gender what I wanted to do with race. And then, [once I] decided that I wanted to bite off the difficult task of making a film about race, that was a scary notion. If you fail at that, you’ve really failed.
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