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Awards Season

‘In the Envelope’ Podcast: Betty Gabriel on Stealing the Show in ‘Get Out’

‘In the Envelope’ Podcast: Betty Gabriel on Stealing the Show in ‘Get Out’
Photo Source: Mark Stinson

“In the Envelope: An Awards Podcast” features interviews with award-winning actors and other creatives. Join host and Awards Editor Jack Smart for a front row seat to the industry’s biggest awards races!

We know something is up with Georgina, the mysterious maid in Universal Pictures’ “Get Out,” sometime before her disturbing, repeated delivery of the word “no.” Her eyes are focused on Daniel Kaluuya’s Chris intently, yet brimming with tears, her oddly retro wig is shaking back and forth, and then her smile strains all the way across the big screen.

That scene’s power is due to the brilliance of Betty Gabriel, stealing the show with a moment that audiences later realize embodies many of the motifs Jordan Peele baked into his feature film directorial debut: black assimilation into white culture, liberal racism, the enduring legacy of slavery. Peele, now nominated for three Academy Awards—the first African American and only third first-time director in Oscars history to do so for the same project—mashed up horror and comedy in unprecedented, audacious ways, crafting an indie hit both at the box office and among critics. A contender unlike any other, “Get Out” has won its fair share of accolades throughout this film awards season despite its February 2017 release; the Directors Guild of America crowned Peele its debut director, while his script took home the top prize at the Writers Guild Awards.

It’s been a whirlwind for Gabriel, a working actor who only recently held a day job with a food delivery service in Los Angeles—twice delivering, in a strange twist of fate, to Peele! She sits with Backstage to remember auditioning for “Get Out” in the middle of the Peruvian mountains, discuss rejection and survival in the acting industry, and chat up her upcoming sci-fi-horror projects with Blumhouse Productions. For tips on how to navigate a big Hollywood breakthrough, listen in below.

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