Audiences may have The Emoji Movie to thank for Jordan Peele's Oscar-nominated directorial debut Get Out.
While accepting the Directors Guild of America's award on Saturday for best first-time director, Peele revealed he decided to leave acting because of the role he was offered for the 3D-animated film set in the world of a boy's phone.
"The Emoji Movie actually helped me quit acting. I was offered the role of Poop," he said. "This is true. I would not make this up." He initially viewed the offer as "fucked up," but told his manager he would sleep on the idea. When he called the next day to ask how much he would be paid, he was informed Patrick Stewart had already accepted the role. "I was like, 'Fuck this,'" Peele recalled. And thus, a writer-director was born.
The Emoji Movie was dead on arrival in theaters in 2017, and remains among the more perplexing and hated movies of the year, despite the star power of Stewart and comedic actors T.J. Miller, James Corden, Maya Rudolph, Jennifer Coolidge and Steven Wright.
By contrast, Peele's horror film Get Out was a commercial and critical success, earning $255 million worldwide and numerous accolades, including four Academy Award nominations (for best picture, best director, best original screenplay and best actor).
In short, Peele knows how to get out when the getting's good, and this appears to be the push he needed to make the film he wanted.