Filmmaker, actor and Rolling Stone cover star Jordan Peele remembers being frightened by E.T. and The Twilight Zone, talks the nostalgic power of the Cranberries and explains how Chance the Rapper convinced him that Get Out was a hit in the latest installment of “The First Time.”
Peele is set to follow breakout directorial debut, Get Out, with a new horror-thriller Us, but he said the first film that truly scared him wasn’t a classic of the genre, but Steven Spielberg’s beloved 1982 film, E.T. “It was the scene where E.T. was laying by the side of the river and there was a raccoon nibbling on his foot,” Peele said. “I thought it was a kid’s movie, I didn’t know what was going on, it was terrifying, he was all pale and gaunt, and he was dying – and I still to this day don’t know why Steven Spielberg would do me like this.”
Equally formative and frightening was The Twilight Zone, a revival of which Peele is set to host later this year. Peele said the first episode of the show he ever saw was the infamous “Living Doll,” about an evil, talking doll, and he recalled its impact in the most blunt terms possible: “It almost made me piss my pants.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Peele spoke about seeing the Cranberries for his first concert, spending three years in Amsterdam doing comedy and smoking weed, and perfecting his Barack Obama impression. He also remembered the first time he screened Get Out for an audience and said that it was Chance the Rapper and his friends who provided the film’s first rave review.
“For the last ten minutes of the film, Chance and his friends stood up in the middle of the theater and just went, ‘Oh!'” Peele recalled. “I knew I had a hit when that happened.”