Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield are two remarkably talented actors who are only just at the start of their careers, and what's interesting is that they seem to be sprinting together. They first had the opportunity to work together on Jordan Peele's Get Out, and now, four years after that film was released, they have both received Oscar nominations for their respective performances in Shaka King's Judas And The Black Messiah. From an outside perspective they seem to have a cool pair thing going, but that's a funny idea when you consider how different the two experiences were for LaKeith Stanfield during the productions.
As the actor pointed out during a recent interview with NME, his role in Get Out may be incredibly memorable, but it didn't actually take all that long to shoot. Because of this, LaKeith Stanfield didn't spend all that much time on the set of the Jordan Peele movie, hence he didn't have much of an opportunity to strike up a relationship with Daniel Kaluuya. Said Stanfield,
I didn’t really get to know him or meet him that much on Get Out. We had conversations off-camera, but I wasn’t on set for more than like a week. On Judas, we had a lot more off-screen time to hang out together and discuss things, so I really got to know him a lot better through that. He’s just a beautiful guy.
When you put the two movies side-by-side, it's not precisely a challenge to recognize what LaKeith Stanfield is talking about here. He may stand out in your mind as having a big supporting role in Get Out, but in truth he is only in two scenes: the opening sequence where he is kidnapped, and the big party thrown by the Armitages. He does have a big moment with Daniel Kaluuya's Chris, and is the one who gets to say the title of the movie in dialogue, but his total runtime isn't precisely considerable all things considered.
With Judas And The Black Messiah on the other hand, the conversation couldn't be more different. In the film, LaKeith Stanfield plays an FBI informant who is tasked with infiltrating the Black Panthers and getting close to Illinois Chapter President Fred Hampton – played by Daniel Kaluuya. The relationship between the characters is the primary source of drama in the film, requiring the two stars to work together closely.
Of course, if we zoom back to a macro perspective, the developing formula here seems to be that when LaKeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya are in a movie together, that movie gets Academy Award attention. Get Out was nominated in four categories during the 2018 Oscars, winning for Best Original Screenplay; and Judas And The Black Messiah has picked up six nominations, including two in the Best Supporting Actor category for Stanfield and Kaluuya (exactly how that math works out is a mystery, but here we are).
To find out if Judas And The Black Messiah takes home one or more Oscars, you'll just have to tune into the show, which is scheduled to air on ABC on April 25.