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Daniel Kaluuya says fame used to make him feel ‘hollow’

Film Award winner Daniel Kaluuya (Picture: Kit Oates)
Film Award winner Daniel Kaluuya (Picture: Kit Oates)

Daniel Kaluuya has discussed how fame used to make him feel “hollow” and the changes he has made since.

The film star and director, who is releasing directorial debut The Kitchen this year, was speaking to Rolling Stone UK for a new cover interview and discussed changes he has made in his career outlook.

“A lot of my self-esteem was in other people’s hands,” he explained of his past career success, pointing to a past interview with director Jordan Peele where he said he had considered giving up acting.

“Even though I was achieving the checkpoints that I wanted, it was hollow because I didn’t feel ownership over my career,” he added.

Of what changed, Kaluuya went on: “I want to do it for people that are around me socially as opposed to professionally,” he reflects. “I realised I was getting respect from people that weren’t paying my bills or that would uplift me. All those decisions lead to the inevitability of fame. Because, basically, I’ve moved from self-serving to service.”

Daniel wears denim jacket and jeans both by Louis Vuitton, trainers by Christian Louboutin. (Picture: Danny Kasirye)
Daniel wears denim jacket and jeans both by Louis Vuitton, trainers by Christian Louboutin. (Picture: Danny Kasirye)

At last week’s Rolling Stone UK Awards in collaboration with Rémy Martin at London’s Roundhouse, Kaluuya won the Film Award for The Kitchen, beating the likes of Vivian Oparah for Rye Lane, Cillian Murphy for Oppenheimer, Harris Dickinson for Scrapper and Emerald Fennell for Saltburn.

Picking up the award from broadcaster and presenter Claro Amfo, Kaluuya reflected on returning to the Roundhouse, a place he once took an acting class in his youth.

“The breakthrough moment was when we stopped wanting to be great and wanted to be honest. It just opened the doors to what was possible. And also we wanted to have a good time.”

He added: “We wanted to make something exciting for London, for Britain and the world.”

You can check back here for all the latest coverage of the Rolling Stone UK Awards.