In the movie, the "Get Out" star plays a man on the run after killing a white police officer in self-defence, and he reveals he has an unfortunate connection to his character after coming face to face with an aggressive cop.
"I connected to Slim because I’ve been in that situation, especially with the police, where it’s out of control but you’re trying to do your best," he tells Entertainment Weekly. “If you respect yourself, that’s a problem. It’s when oppression is so visceral. If I believe in me, that’s a problem for you."
The new drama was written by Lena Waithe and director Melina Matsoukas, who insisted Daniel and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith revisited the tragic case of Sandra Bland, before filming the scene in which they encountered the officer.
Bland was a 28-year-old black woman, who was found hanged in her jail cell three days after she was arrested during a routine traffic stop in Walter County, Texas. Her death was later ruled a suicide.
"It was about looking at a lot of this black horror that we see," says Turner-Smith, noting she also watched video of Bland's traffic stop.
"I watched the Sandra Bland documentary and her tape itself over and over and over and over again, and just the reality of that, the fear in that."