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'Nope' star Brandon Perea reveals how Jordan Peele changed the film's script after his audition

Actor Brandon Perea reveals how Jordan Peele changed the Nope script after his audition.

By Tara Bennett
Nope - A Film by Jordan Peele

In Jordan Peele's latest horror/thriller, Nope, Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer play siblings, OJ and Em, who inherit their father's horse ranch in Agua Dulce, California. Some strange things start happening on their vast valley property which prompts them to outfit their house and barn with a whole lotta security cameras. Their wingman geek savior ends up being Angel Torres, a Frye's Electronics employee who gets overly invested in their personal business. 

The actor behind the scene-stealing role is Brandon Perea, who many may recognize from his role as French Sosa in Netflix's The OA. Nope is his biggest film role to date and Perea revealed to SYFY WIRE in a recent Zoom interview that he only just learned that the version of Angel Torres in Peele's earlier script changed substantially after he auditioned for the part. "Originally the character is written far different than what I performed," Perea shares. "Jordan rewrote the character for me because what I performed in the audition was far different than what they imagined."

The actor says Torres was initially framed as a "very happy-go-lucky" nerd at an electronics retailer. "I did not play it that way," Perea deadpans.

He says because he was such a fan of Peele's work and watched all of his prior films, he recognized that his support characters are very grounded. As such, he didn't want to go overboard with a cartoony geek character. "Jordan's support characters all give such a grounded performance where they seem so real in the world, where you're just like that person exists somewhere," Perea assesses. "I was like, let me bring it to a place that I can understand from the characters that I've seen in those spaces. And that's what I delivered him in the performance and Jordan loved it."

Perea says he just found out that Peele ended up rewriting his entire script based off the version of Angel that he brought to the audition. "It's incredible," the actor enthuses. "I was very hands on with crafting this character, but it was very collaborative as well. It was both of us hashing things out. We got it to a great place."

Not wanting to spoil anything ahead of Nope's imminent release date, Perea teases that for as much as we see of Angel in the movie, there's a whole lot more he and Peele worked on that never made it to screen about his character's interesting back story. "There's so many undertones and layers of story that are never touched in the film, but that we touched on and collaborated on that I hope is absorbed through the performance."

Nope opens exclusively in theaters on July 22.