Best known for his Comedy Central sketch series Key & Peele (which he created with fellow comedian Keegan-Michael Key), the 39-year-old became an integral part of the cinematic landscape of the Trump era with his socially relevant, genre-defying horror film Get Out.
The 2017 film, which is nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay—all of which Peele is partly or solely credited for. The plot follows a man named Chris (played by lead actor nominee Daniel Kaluuya) as he ventures to his girlfriend’s parents’ house for the first time. SPOILER ALERT: What begins as a cordial weekend trip quickly turns to terror when Chris, who is black, realizes the sinister ulterior motives of his partner's family members, who are all white.
Get Out's story centers around racial dynamics both obvious and subtle; the concept is made all the more interesting when you consider Peele’s personal life and family history.
Peele, a New York native, was born to a white mother and black father—and raised by the former. He's married to comedian and Brooklyn Nine-Nine actress Chelsea Peretti and they're parents to a 7-month-old son named Beaumont. Peretti, who is white, joked about the Get Out plotline shortly after its release:
Although decidedly lighter in tone, Key & Peele dealt with similar topics to Get Out, including a focus on race relations. The sketch series ran for five seasons from 2012 and 2015. All 53 episodes are available to stream on Hulu.
Watch to see if Peele or Get Out takes home any Oscars when the Academy Awards air Sunday, March 4, 8 p.m. ET on ABC.