Have you watched The Kitchen on Netflix yet?
10 years in the making, THE KITCHEN is an original story from Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Judas & The Black Messiah), Kibwe Tavares (Robots of Brixton, Jonah) & Daniel Emmerson (Calm With Horses) and marks the feature directing debuts of Kibwe Tavares & Daniel Kaluuya, and the film debut of Kane Robinson (Top Boy). THE KITCHEN is a film about community, inequality, family, class, joy, resilience, courage, defiance, and care in London – and communities around the globe.
Our Sr. Content Director Janeé Bolden chatted with Robinson and Kaluuya about the film and how it evolved over the last decade. Kaluuya explained that while the original concept was more of a heist story, he and co-director Kibwe Tavares felt there was a far more interesting tale to be told about family and community.
“I think the heist version of film would have been 20 minutes,” Daniel Kaluuya told BOSSIP. “When we really dug into the characters we found this fatherhood narrative that we were circling that felt like a question that London had, essentially the fathers that are not present — who are they? And that felt worthy of a of a narrative.”
Speaking of father figures, Kane Robinson plays the lead role of Izi, who unexpectedly is compelled to care for an adolescent boy named Benji. Because director/actor relationships are so critical, we wanted to know what it was like for Kaluuya and Robinson working together. But it turns out that they have quite a bit of history that lent to the experience.
“I met Kane in life, not in the game,” Kaluuya told BOSSIP. “When Kane’s name was mentioned in our conversations I was like, ‘YES…’ On Top Boy there was one scene where Kane is Sully and he’s riding round and he’s in the passenger seat and he’s looking for someone and he’s just lookin, doesn’t say anything, right? He’s just looking for someone. He thinks he sees someone and then he doesn’t and then he calms down and then they arrive. What is that? There’s nothing there in that scene. Why did I just mention that in 2024? It’s because of the interior process that Kane added to that scene. He added value to the scenes that he was in. So for me, because it was such a mad shoot, and ambitious film that me and Kibwe were making, we wanted value players and someone that would bring a world to it and that we can build with. Essentially, he’s not an actor, he’s an artist and we can collaborate and build along with him so that for me was the reason why we wanted Kane involved.”
“It was just a pleasure to be a part of this project and and just learn every day,” Robinson told BOSSIP. “Every day is stressful. It’s a lot. I’ve been a part of a series before, which you know, there’s like many other characters, so I might be working for four days and then off for a week.”
“This was different for me,” Robinson continued. “I was in almost every scene and it’s back-to-back to back. It was so tough and I don’t know if I could have got through it without being able to speak to Daniel and helping me refocus for next scenes, meeting on Thursday to talk about the scene coming on Monday and how can we make it better. Just constantly creating. He said to me at the beginning, it’s going to be that way, we’re not going to stop writing even while we’re shooting. We’re gonna continue chipping away and chipping away. So it was such a unique process to be a part of and maybe not every one’s gonna be like that but this was an interesting experience, but one I’ve definitely learned from.”
The Kitchen is streaming on Netflix now.
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