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Arguably the biggest cinematic success story of 2017 was Get Out. The micro-budget thriller was insanely profitable at the box office, becoming part of pop culture and going on to find success at the Academy Awards with four nominations and one win. The film was a breakout hit, pushing the boundaries of horror and announcing Jordan Peele as a filmmaking talent to follow, but the director wasn't the only one to announce himself with the film. Lil Rel Howery, who played hilarious TSA Agent Rod Williams in the filmm is now a star in his own right. So much so that the actor now gets stopped on the street, with fans reciting one of his character's funniest lines, as he explained:
I get 'TS motherfucking A!' every fucking day. Because I saved [Daniel Kaluuya's character Chris], people look at me as a friend. What I think was brilliant about Jordan was creating a hero out of a regular guy. He doesn't have any superpowers. All I did was pick him up. I ain't fight nobody, I ain't shoot nobody. I thought that was brilliant that he wrote it that way --- that he's just a good friend.
Hey, if you deliver a line that is simultaneously hilarious, badass and inappropriate, people are bound to shout it out to you. Lil Rel Howery's Rod Williams was incredibly memorable in the film for moments like this. Throughout Get Out, he is the comic relief and an audience surrogate, skeptical from the jump about this creepy monochromatic upstate hellscape. What's so funny about this line that comes at the end of the film is that the TSA is hardly known for the kind of detective work Rod Williams puts in. Rightly or wrongly, the TSA in film, TV and pop culture is known for being the people who make you take off your shoes in long lines at the airportand go through the metal detectors, but here the TSA agent is the hero.
In Get Out, the police don't take Rod seriously and even laugh at him, but he maintains pride in his job and provides a crucial rescue for Daniel Kaluuya's Chris. I suspect that Lil Rel Howery isn't the only one who has to hear this line all every day either. I'm sure that real-life TSA agents probably hear it from their friends and family all the time.
As Lil Rel Howery told The Washington Post, Rod Williams was just a regular guy who was just a good friend in the film. He's the kind of guy you want to be friends with; someone who cares enough to put in serious leg work when you go missing and might be in danger. Not only did Rod Williams go to the cops and find Chris all by himself, but he also took care of his dog. That's a friend right there.
Although he initially didn't even receive an invite to the Oscars, Lil Rel Howery looks to have a bright Hollywood future ahead of him. He is already working on some stand-up specials where he'll touch on Get Out. On the silver screen, Lil Rel Howery will be starring in the basketball comedy Uncle Drew, in theaters on June 29. Later in the year he'll be part of the star-powered cast of the sci-fi film Bird Box. For all the biggest movies hitting theaters this year, check out our release schedule.