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Daniel Kaluuya, Becoming THE BLACK MESSIAH!

February 17th, 2021Daniel Kaluuya, Becoming THE BLACK MESSIAH!


For Daniel Kaluuya it’s the power of loving yourself, loving the people that look like you and loving your own community that really held on after filming. “When taking in the character of Fred, he had an internal revolution. He was free within his own mind, within his own spirt, his own soul. He wanted to give the people the tools to be free within themselves. He did this with education, with food, with legal aid. With all these tools that they put in place to promote individual internal liberation as well as community unity. That’s what I really held onto.”

Daniel wanted to get every aspect of this roll correct, so for him meeting Fred’s family was a necessity. “A story like this and how the perspective can be, and wanting to tell it true, meeting the family was a part of the process and having them enrich what we’re doing. To view the narrative with truth was imperative to me and to everyone involved with the process. Because of this, it felt like everyone was aligned as to the importance of having Chairman Fred Jr. and having Mama Akoa redirecting us and coming on to set and educating us during lunch. It was amazing and then we went to the home and the office and had a seven- or eight-hour meeting. Chairman Fred Jr. spoke to us and asked us to declare our intentions and why we make art.”

Fred Hampton Jr. took the cast to a neighborhood that the panthers are active in so they could get a better feel for what the organization does. Fred Hampton Jr. said to Daniel, “If you’re going to play the chairman, I want to see what you are made of!” Fred had the crew do a google search for the worst neighborhood in Chicago, K-Town turned out to be the hot spot, so they went. “Eleven people were just shot that night, so I said let’s go!”

Daniel saw the memorial site of the shooting had been destroyed. “Fred Hampton Jr. explained to me how the police come and wreck those kinds of places, to me it was a microcosm of what has been done for centuries. It’s the disruption of necessary healing from the powers that be, and I saw that there. I didn’t feel like I had anything to prove, I was just there to connect on a real level and try to understand their point of view, how they see the world. I want to look through their eyes, I don’t want to look at them, I wanted to look with them.”

It’s because of this due diligence to get the story right, that JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH is a must-see film on the big screen!

You can see JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH at AMC Theatres right now!


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