As nicely as He’s a serious auteur now! rolls off the tongue while discussing Jordan Peele’s reasons for his acting retirement, the truth, like the continued domination of emoji over the written word in our digital landscape, is a lot sadder. Because in the end, his final decision boiled down to that flaming dumpster fire of a “comedy” film, The Emoji Movie. Speaking at the DGA Awards while accepting his First-Time Director honors, Peele said that his fleeting consideration of working on the film immediately encouraged him to pursue directing and writing full time. “The Emoji Movie actually helped me quit acting. I was offered the role of Poop,” he explained. “This is true. I would not make this up.”
As the story goes, Peele’s manager told him about the shit-tastic opportunity and encouraged him to think about taking on a silly voice role. “That’s fucked-up,” Peele responded. “I’m going to sleep on it.” Out of sheer curiosity, the next day he asked his manager what the studio would be paying him, but, alas, it was too late — none other than Patrick Stewart confirmed he would do it. “I was like,” Peele recalled, “‘Fuck this.’” If only the other Emoji actors followed his lead.