In 2017, Jordan Peele both entered a new phase of his career in more ways than one. Not only did he make his stunning debut as a writer/director with the release of Get Out, but he also made a conscious decision to step away from the world of live-action acting. He's continued performing, but with the exception of his part as The Narrator on CBS All Access' The Twilight Zone all of his roles have been voice-overs for animation.
Considering that there are plenty of actors who continue their careers in front of the camera while also venturing behind it, one might wonder why Jordan Peele has made the decision to shut that particular door – but he has now summed it up rather bluntly, comparing the experience of watching himself act to "masturbation you don't enjoy."
The acclaimed, Oscar-winning writer/director joined actor Bradley Whitford on Sunday night for a "Get Out The Vote" fundraiser promoting democratic participation in today's United States Senate run-off vote in Georgia , and it was during their conversation that the subject turned to Jordan Peele mostly disappearing from our screens in the last few years. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Whitford directly asked Peele about his future as an actor, the the latter shut it down, saying,
I like watching my movies. I can watch the films I direct [but] watching me perform just feels like, it’s a bad kind of masturbatory. It’s masturbation you don’t enjoy. I feel like I got to do so much and it is a great feeling. When I think about those great moments when you’re basking in something you said that feels funny. When I think about all that, I think I got enough.
Assuming that there isn't a project that will come along in a few years that demands he make a return to live-action performing, that means that Jordan Peele's final big screen turn was in Peter Atencio's cat-centric 2016 comedy Keanu. Co-starring his friend and frequent collaborator Keegan-Michael Key, and sporting a fun twisty plot, it's not a bad note to go out on.
Of course, what should help Jordan Peele scratch the acting itch going forward is the fact that he has a very active career doing voice over. Once again teamed with Key he was one of the standouts in Pixar's Toy Story 4 in 2019, and has been playing multiple roles on Netflix's Big Mouth since 2017. Coming up he has two animated features on his slate, including Henry Selick's Wendell and Wild, and Evan Marlowe's Abruptio.
Obviously Jordan Peele also has stuff cooking on the writer/director front. While we know nothing about it, his follow-up to 2019's Us has been placed on Universal Pictures' release schedule and has been dated for July 22, 2022. This presumably means that the movie will be going into production this year, and if that turns out to be the case it hopefully won't be too much longer before we start to learn new details about it.
In the meantime, what's your favorite Jordan Peele performance? Will you miss him being in front of the camera? Hit the comments section with your thoughts.