Lil Rel Howery became a breakout star—and a hero to TSA agents everywhere—with his hilarious role in "Get Out." While the Oscar-nominated film has opened up a bunch of doors for the comic, he hasn't forgotten his stand-up roots and will take the stage at The Wilbur on May 12. Ahead of his show in Boston, we caught up with Lil Rel Howery to chat about a variety of topics, including working with Kyrie Irving, whether Kanye West is stuck in the sunken place and if he's down for a "Get Out 2."
"Get Out" catapulted you to a new level of fame and even earned you a trip to the Oscars. But do you feel more at home on the stand-up stage as opposed to the glitz and glamor of Hollywood?
I feel comfortable everywhere. I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life. I feel like I was ready for it when it happened. It’s a dream come true. My dream wasn’t just to do stand-up. I wanted to experience everything.
You have a lot of big projects in the works, including a role as Bobby Brown's business manager in the upcoming BET project about the Boston-bred star.
Originally they offered to play his brother and I couldn't do it. And it was a blessing in disguise because they got Mekhi Phifer to play him. But I still wanted to be apart of the project because I'm a big Bobby Brown fan. I feel like this is going to be something special like "The New Edition Story." It's very heartfelt. Bobby was on set and he was really nice. It's going to be a beautiful miniseries.
You also recently worked with Kyrie Irving on "Uncle Drew." Were you impressed with the Celtics star's comedic chops?
Kyrie, just as an actor, is really good. He was funny, tried to be dramatic when he needed to be. He's actually extremely talented, which makes you feel bad because, whenever he gets time off, he can just come and do my job but I can't show up at the Garden [and do his].
What was it like witnessing his reaction to being traded to Boston on set?
The thing about Kyrie that I love, though, he was truly excited to be a Celtic. You saw that this season. I'm a Bulls fan. You got a Bulls fan to like the Celtics. It's insane. I've got a lot of stuff from my homies in Chicago because I'm a huge Celtics fan. I kept texting Kyrie during the season like, "Look man, I watched another game." He was like, "Bruh. Stop saying it. You don't have to apologize for watching another team." I really enjoyed the team they put together. Brad Stevens is a great coach. Kyrie was really excited.
Did you talk with him at all about his flat Earth beliefs?
We didn't get into it, but somebody else brought it up to him. One thing I love about people is everybody has their own opinion. Until you go to space, we really don't know what this place is shaped like until you see with your own eyes. I've got theories. I don't even know if we really went to space back when they said they did. I respect Kyrie for sticking to whatever his opinion is. But I didn't bring it up. Look, a map is flat. I can see why people would think the world is.
Speaking of people with interesting opinions, do you think Kanye West is stuck in the sunken place?
When people think about the definition of the sunken place, I think he is there. The sunken place comes from not dealing with stuff, not dealing with pain and still being hurt over stuff and people taking advantage of that hurt. That's Jordan's brilliance of creating the sunken place. It became like a cultural thing just to say somebody is in the sunken place. When you watch the movie, you really get it. Chris in the movie didn't deal with his mom's death for real. I think that's the same thing happening to my man and his sunken place. Hopefully somebody around him will start just talking to him. I feel like nobodies really talking to him for real.
*Gets inspired— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) April 25, 2018
*Starts writing ‘Get Out 2’ https://t.co/zqOW6Xxx9v
Jordan Peele recently retweeted one of West's tweets, writing that he was getting inspired for a "Get Out 2." What are your thoughts on a sequel?
I called him and I'm going to try him again this weekend. I have an idea for it. At first I never wanted to do a "Get Out 2" until the lightbulb went off the other day. We could probably keep doing it and there's different ways to do it. I'm going to talk to him and see what he thinks because I know the studio would be happy. It'll be very interesting. I want to brainstorm with him about it.
If you go:
May 12, 7 p.m., The Wilbur, 246 Tremont St., Boston, $32, thewilbur.com