Beef up on your personal Key and Peele wiki with some new facts, such as Jordan Peele and Chelsea Peretti eloped and told no one, except her tiny dog who wore a Hawaiian shirt to the wedding. And learn just how Jordan Peele came up with all of those names. Hint: He had a little help from a third writer.
Why Is the Cat’s Name Keanu?
Key explained to Reddit, “You know, it wasn't as calculated as a lot of people think. There's definitely the fact that the movie is a love letter to movies. We do love Keanu, we love movies like Point Break and Speed, and we wanted to put these characters in an action world. Really, it all came from a moment where when we came up with the idea of the kitten. It was the first name that came to my head because I love names that only have one connotation. Once you say you're gonna put a kitten in it, and the kitten's name is Keanu, from that point forward it's a done deal. It wasn't too calculated.”Peele also doesn’t see Keanu as a parody of John Wick but was worried that Keanu Reeves might think it was. They really wanted Reeves to voice the cat in the film. The actor reached out to Keanu director Peter Atencio directly, "He flipped out and got in touch with us directly to say, 'If there's anything I can do, let's make this work.'" Whoa.
Where Did the Idea for Keanu Come From?
Peele has said, ”We really wanted to make a movie for us. We didn't pitch this movie. One of the Key & Peele writers, Alex Rubins, and myself wrote this on spec. So, we basically created what was to us the perfect Key & Peele movie and we wrote the whole thing, the first draft, without a kitten in it. And then we realized we needed something to bring us in and bring the heart to the movie, so we came up with this idea of this kitten that wears a do-rag and we put it on the poster and everybody who doesn't know Key & Peele would hopefully have to go see the kitten do-rag movie.”
Key added, “You have the most vulnerable, fluffy, cute thing in the world and the majority of our movie takes place on the gritty streets and in a dank, grimy strip club with a bunch of gangsters. So, you're taking kittens and gangsters and mixing them together. Or you're taking nerdy guys who have to pretend they're assassins, guys who've never handled a gun are pretending to be the two greatest assassins in the world.”
Seven Young Cat Actors Played Keanu
Jordan called them “cat actors” , which seemed to crack up commenters. The tabbies were all real, no CG was involved in their mad acting skills. Key is allergic to cats and took medicine in order to perform alongside his fellow feline actors.
By the way three of the cat actors were adopted by members of the crew. Tiffany Haddish, who played Hi-C, adopted one of them. The rest live on a farm with animal trainers.
Peele Almost Played Barack Obama on SNL
Peele auditioned to play the senator during the 2008 election season on Saturday Night Live, but scheduling conflicts between the show and MADtv prevented him from taking the gig. Peele was very bummed out about having to turn it down.