Jordan Peele Began Directing Full-Time Because Of The Poop Emoji
Jordan Peele says the big kick that sent him from acting to directing came around 2016. The people behind The Emoji Movie offered him a role: the part of The Poop Emoji. He felt insulted and decided there had to be better opportunities out there.
Since then, Peele has directed good movies, which have done well. But when he first shared this story, he described his career move by saying he’d “quit acting.” Now, a few years later, we have to wrinkle our eyebrows a little, because Peele did not quit acting.
For starters, he acted in every episode of CBS’s The Twilight Zone. A lot of people thought Peele was popping in there because he was overseeing the whole show (producing it maybe, or writing and directing) but no. The show was not his, and the show was not good. He was just there onscreen as a narrator, reading lines that usually other people wrote, for a work of fiction, and we think that counts as acting.
He’s also been in a handful of movies since not appearing in The Emoji Movie, including Toy Story 4—which was better than The Emoji Movie, sure, but this was another comic relief side character part in an animated kids’ film. He has three movies coming up later this year. If you count the voice parts he’s had in movies he’s directed, he’s acted in more movies post-Emoji Movie than pre-Emoji movie.
You might note that all these recent movie roles are voice work. But if he played The Poop Emoji, that would have been voice work too. In fact, Peele revealed that after initially rejecting the offer, he enquired how much it would pay and learned he’d missed his chance, as they’d gone with Patrick Stewart. He might have shifted his career thanks to that poop offer, but it doesn’t really seem like he’s avoiding doing anything similar to that part again. In fact, it almost seems like he’s now altered his acting path to exclusively chase that golden emoji opportunity that he missed.
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