9 Roles You Totally Forgot Daniel Kaluuya Played Before His Oscar Win

Long before Get Out and Judas And The Black Messiah made him a household name, the British star appeared in many other TV shows and films.
Daniel Kaluuya accepting his Oscar during this year's ceremony
Daniel Kaluuya accepting his Oscar during this year's ceremony
Todd Wawrychuk/A.M.P.A.S./Shutterstock

After years of growing his profile in huge films like Get Out, Black Panther and Widows, Daniel Kaluuya has just achieved the ultimate acting accolade, when he won his first Oscar.

Pretty much cementing his national treasure status, Daniel was awarded Best Supporting Actor during this year’s ceremony for his performance in Judas And The Black Messiah.

As the London-born actor’s star continues to rise to even greater heights, we decided to take a look back at the roles he appeared in long before he became a worldwide star.

Along the way we unearthed long forgotten comedy characters, big-screen outings and, of course, a certain “Posh Kenneth”...

Skins (2007)

If you sat down to watch Get Out in 2017, only to get the distinct feeling you’d seen Daniel Kaluuya before, that could well be because you watched him in Skins back in the day.

Although not one of the main cast, Daniel played “Posh Kenneth” throughout the show’s first two series. And while Daniel’s Skins past has been raised several times since his rise to global fame, what you might not realise is that he also penned two episodes of the British teen drama, series two’s Jal and series three’s Thomas, which he co-wrote with Skins creator Bryan Elsley.

Doctor Who (2009)

Like many burgeoning British stars, one of Daniel’s earliest TV appearances was in the BBC’s long-running sci-fi show Doctor Who.

Daniel played Barclay in the 2009 special Planet Of The Dead, sharing the screen with David Tennant and – perhaps more excitingly – Victoria Alcock, otherwise known as Julie S from Bad Girls.

Psychoville (2009)

Daniel was one of several British actors to land a role in the black comedy mystery Psychoville, with Steve Pemberton (the show’s co-creator), Dawn French, Adrian Scarborough and Imelda Staunton also among the cast.

While much of the show’s humour derived from League Of Gentleman-esque surrealism and unpredictability, Daniel’s character, Tealeaf, was decidedly more rooted in reality than those surrounding him.

Ruddy Hell! It’s Harry And Paul (2010)

In 2010, Daniel appeared in a recurring sketch in the Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse comedy series Ruddy Hell! It’s Harry And Paul.

He played the overzealous traffic warden Parking Pataweyo in a somewhat questionable sketch intended to be a parody of Postman Pat.

Prior to this, he featured in David Mitchell and Robert Webb’s sketch comedy show, which also boasted future Oscar winner Olivia Colman among its cast.

Johnny English Reborn (2011)

When Rowan Atkinson’s Johnny English character was resurrected in 2011 for a sequel almost a decade after the original film, the film brought in an all-star cast which included Gillian Anderson, Rosamund Pike and Dominic West.

Daniel was also among the new additions to the film, playing Colin Tucker, a young MI7 agent assigned to the same missions as the hero, who he assists along the way.

Black Mirror (2011)

A breakthrough moment in terms of Daniel’s profile was his leading role in the Black Mirror episode Fifteen Million Merits, a send-up of reality TV and instant fame, particularly off the back of Simon Cowell talent shows like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.

Fifteen Million Merits was only the second episode of Black Mirror ever made, when the anthology series was still being shown on Channel 4, and saw Daniel playing Bing, who spends his inheritance on helping a friend realise her dreams of becoming a star. Black Mirror being Black Mirror, though, things don’t quite work out the way they hoped.

While still early in his career, Fifteen Million Merits allowed Daniel to show off his huge range as an actor, particularly in his character’s dramatic speech near the end of the episode.

Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

Daniel Kaluuya in Kick-Ass 2
Daniel Kaluuya in Kick-Ass 2

Two years after winning critical acclaim for his performance in Black Mirror, Daniel appeared in the sequel to the superhero comedy Kick-Ass.

He plays a member of the villainous troupe The Toxic Mega C**ts, playing a UFC fighter known as Black Death.

Babylon (2014)

Daniel in Babylon
Daniel in Babylon
Channel 4

In the police drama Babylon, Daniel played Matt Coward, a documentary filmmaker who aims to use his craft to highlight corruption in his local police force and bring them down.

Created by Danny Boyle, the show featured James Nesbitt, Bertie Carvel and Jill Halfpenny among its expansive cast.

Sicario (2015)

Daniel as seen in Sicario
Daniel as seen in Sicario
Richard Jr Foreman/Black Label Media/Thunder Road/Kobal/Shutterstock

Sicario marked Daniel’s final on-screen role before Get Out and Black Panther launched him to global fame, earning him an Oscar nomination and Bafta Rising Star win.

In the action thriller, he plays an FBI agent who is the on-duty partner of Emily Blunt’s character. A sequel was later released in 2018, though Emily and Daniel did not return for it.


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