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10 Fast Facts About Get Out

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Trekking beyond his Key & Peele sketch comedy roots, Jordan Peele surprised a lot of people by making his debut feature a horror film. There are a few uncomfortable laughs to be found in Get Out, but the bulk of the movie is a descent into madness that proves its main character, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), is right to be paranoid.

The film follows Chris as he visits his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) wealthy, white parents at their home, where Chris begins to suspect that something’s not right. Spoiler alert: He’s super correct, because the Armitage family is trying to sell his body to the highest bidder.

Here are 10 facts about the terrifying Best Picture nominee.

1. IT WAS INSPIRED BY AN EDDIE MURPHY ROUTINE.

Jordan Peele points to the classic bit in Eddie Murphy: Delirious where Murphy asks why white people don’t just leave a house when a ghost shows up as one generation point for the film. “In The Amityville Horror the ghost told them to get out of the house,” Murphy riffs. “Now that’s a hint and a half for you a**. If a ghost said ‘get the f*** out,’ I would just tip the f**** out the door.”

2. CHANCE THE RAPPER GAVE AWAY FREE TICKETS TO ITS CHICAGO OPENING.

Obviously a massive fan of the movie, Chance the Rapper purchased every ticket for every opening day showing of Get Out at the Chatham Theater on 87th in Chicago, and urged his Twitter followers to claim a ticket at the box office on his dime.

3. THE SUNKEN PLACE REPRESENTS THE MARGINALIZATION OF BLACK AMERICANS.

The metaphor is nuanced and multi-layered, but the main theme of the film’s horror is the real-world concept of a system silencing you no matter how loudly you shout. On the Blu-ray, Peele also explicitly stated that it is “a metaphor for the marginalization of the black horror movie audience. We are a loyal horror movie fan base, and we’re relegated to the theater, not on the screen.”

4. GET OUT IS ALSO ABOUT, NO KIDDING, THE HOLY GRAIL.

In the opening scene when Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) abducts Andre (Lakeith Stanfield), he’s got a Knight’s Templar helmet, which is one small element of a detailed backstory Peele gave to The Red Alchemists Society, the secretive group that comes together to bid on black bodies to inhabit.

“They believe they are destined for immortality and deity status,” Peele said. “And over hundreds of years they have worked to figure out through science a way to achieve the power of the Holy Grail.”

5. PEELE DID IMPRESSIONS WHILE DIRECTING.

When you’re known for impersonating President Barack Obama (with an anger interpreter by your side), why not bring that into the mix when you’re giving your actors notes? Peele’s on-set impressions included Obama and comedian Tracy Morgan.

6. PEELE ALSO HAS VOICE CAMEOS AS A DEER AND IN A COMMERCIAL.

As demonstrated in the video above, Peele provided the moan of the dying deer at the beginning of the film, as well as the voice of the narrator for the United Negro College Fund PSA, who keeps insisting that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

7. THE MOVIE IS BEING TAUGHT IN UNIVERSITIES.

In the fall of 2017, author Tananarive Due taught “Sunken Place: Racism, Survival, and Black Horror Aesthetic” at UCLA. Peele even dropped by the class to expand on, among other things, the film’s metaphorical connection to the modern prison industrial complex.

8. YOU SHOULD RE-WATCH THE MOVIE TO SEE WHAT ROSE DOES.

Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams in 'Get Out' (2017)
Justin Lubin, Universal Pictures

When Rose stops the cop from checking Chris’s license, it’s not to stand up for him against a racist act; it’s to ensure there’s no paper trail connecting Chris with her family. This is only one of many duplicitous acts Rose pulls off during the story, and Peele encourages fans to watch the movie again to see how Rose’s hidden intent plays.

9. IT’S THE FIRST FEBRUARY RELEASE SINCE THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS TO SCORE A BEST PICTURE NOMINATION.

And The Silence of the Lambs went on to win. Peele notes the Jonathan Demme classic as partial inspiration for the film, citing the scene where Hannibal Lecter is calmly waiting at the end of the prison hospital hallway as a model for how he introduced Georgina (Betty Gabriel). Want one more Get Out/The Silence of the Lambs connection? They’re two of a very small number of horror films to be nominated for Hollywood’s highest honor.

10. THE ORIGINAL ENDING WAS A DOWNER.

Daniel Kaluuya in 'Get Out' (2017)
Justin Lubin, Universal Pictures

The ending we all feared was initially the one Peele wanted for the film. He planned on having the police show up to arrest Chris for the carnage at the Armitage house, with Rod (LilRel Howery) visiting Chris in jail and hinting that he’d get life in prison with the system stacked against him.

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entertainment
10 People Who Have Misplaced Their Oscars
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Getty Images

Winning an Oscar is, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. Unless you’re Walt Disney, who won 22. Nevertheless, owning a little gold guy is such a rarity that you’d think their owners would be a little more careful with them. Now, not all of these losses are the winners' fault—but some of them certainly are, Colin Firth.

1. ANGELINA JOLIE

After Angelina Jolie planted a kiss on her brother and made the world wrinkle their noses, she went onstage and collected a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Lisa in Girl, Interrupted. She later presented the trophy to her mother, Marcheline Bertrand. The statuette may have been boxed up and put into storage with the rest of Marcheline’s belongings when she died in 2007, but it hasn’t yet surfaced. “I didn’t actually lose it,” Jolie said, “but nobody knows where it is at the moment.”

2. WHOOPI GOLDBERG

In 2002, Whoopi Goldberg sent her Ghost Best Supporting Actress Oscar back to the Academy to have it cleaned and detailed, because apparently you can do that. The Academy then sent the Oscar on to R.S. Owens Co. of Chicago, the company that manufactures the trophies. When it arrived in the Windy City, however, the package was empty. It appeared that someone had opened the UPS package, removed the Oscar, then neatly sealed it all back up and sent it on its way. It was later found in a trash can at an airport in Ontario, California. The Oscar was returned to the Academy, who returned it to Whoopi without cleaning it. “Oscar will never leave my house again,” Goldberg said.

3. OLYMPIA DUKAKIS

When Olympia Dukakis’s Moonstruck Oscar was stolen from her home in 1989, she called the Academy to see if it could be replaced. “For $78,” they said, and she agreed that it seemed like a fair price. It was the only thing taken from the house.

4. MARLON BRANDO

“I don’t know what happened to the Oscar they gave me for On the Waterfront,” Marlon Brando wrote in his autobiography. “Somewhere in the passage of time it disappeared.” He also didn't know what happened to the Oscar that he had Sacheen Littlefeather accept for him in 1973. “The Motion Picture Academy may have sent it to me, but if it did, I don’t know where it is now.”

5. JEFF BRIDGES

Jeff Bridges had just won his Oscar in 2010 for his portrayal of alcoholic country singer Bad Blake in Crazy Heart, but it was already missing by the next year’s ceremony, where he was up for another one. He lost to Colin Firth for The King’s Speech. “It’s been in a few places since last year but I haven’t seen it for a while now,” the actor admitted. “I’m hoping it will turn up, especially now that I haven’t won a spare! But Colin deserves it. I just hope he looks after it better.” Which brings us to ...

6. COLIN FIRTH

Perhaps Jeff Bridges secretly cursed the British actor as he said those words, because Firth nearly left his new trophy on a toilet tank the very night he received it. After a night of cocktails at the Oscar after-parties in 2011, Firth allegedly had to be chased down by a bathroom attendant, who had found the eight-pound statuette in the bathroom stall. Notice we said allegedly: Shortly after those reports surfaced, Firth's rep issued a statement saying the "story is completely untrue. Though it did give us a good laugh."

7. MATT DAMON

When newbie writers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck took home Oscars for writing Good Will Hunting in 1998, it was one of those amazing Academy Award moments. Now, though, Damon isn’t sure where his award went. “I know it ended up at my apartment in New York, but unfortunately, we had a flood when one of the sprinklers went off when my wife and I were out of town and that was the last I saw of it,” Damon said in 2007.

8. MARGARET O'BRIEN

In 1945, seven-year-old Margaret O’Brien was presented with a Juvenile Academy Award for being the outstanding child actress of the year. About 10 years later, the O’Briens' maid took the award home to polish, as she had done before, but never came back to work. The missing Oscar was forgotten about when O’Brien’s mother died shortly thereafter, and when Margaret finally remembered to call the maid, the number had been disconnected. She ended up receiving a replacement from the Academy.

There’s a happy ending to this story, though. In 1995, a couple of guys were picking their way through a flea market when they happened upon the Oscar. They put it up for auction, which is when word got back to the Academy that the missing trophy had resurfaced. The guys who found the Oscar pulled it from auction and presented it, in person, to Margaret O’Brien. “I’ll never give it to anyone to polish again,” she said.

9. BING CROSBY

For years, Bing Crosby's Oscar for 1944’s Going My Way had been on display at his alma mater, Gonzaga University. In 1972, students walked into the school’s library to find that the 13-inch statuette had been replaced with a three-inch Mickey Mouse figurine instead. A week later, the award was found, unharmed, in the university chapel. “I wanted to make people laugh,” the anonymous thief later told the school newspaper.

10. HATTIE MCDANIEL

Hattie McDaniel, famous for her Supporting Actress win as Mammy in Gone with the Wind, donated her Best Actress Oscar to Howard University. It was displayed in the fine arts complex for a time, but went missing sometime in the 1960s. No one seems to know exactly when or how, but there are rumors that the Oscar was unceremoniously dumped into the Potomac by students angered by racial stereotypes such as the one she portrayed in the film.

An earlier version of this post ran in 2013.

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Pop Culture
"Weird Al" Yankovic Is Getting the Funko Treatment
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Though the New York Toy Fair—the largest trade show for playthings in the western hemisphere—won't officially kick off until Saturday, February 17, kids and kids-at-heart are already finding much to get excited about as the world's biggest toy companies ready to unleash their newest wares on the world. One item that has gotten us—and fans of fine parody songs everywhere—excited is "Weird Al" Yankovic's induction into the Funko Pop! family. The accordion-loving songwriter behind hits like "Eat It," "White & Nerdy," "Amish Paradise," and "Smells Like Nirvana" shared the news via Twitter, and included what we can only hope is a final rendering of his miniaturized, blockheaded vinyl likeness:

In late December, Funko announced that a Weird Al toy would be coming in 2018 as part of the beloved brand's Pop Rocks series. Though we know he'll be joined by Alice Cooper, Kurt Cobain, Elton John, and the members of Mötley Crüe, there's no word yet on exactly when you’ll be able to get your hands on Pop! Al. But knowing that he's coming is enough … for now.

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