Daniel Kaluuya And Kane Robinson Weigh In On How ‘The Kitchen’ Evolved From A Heist Movie To A Futuristic Fatherhood Film (Exclusive)


The Kitchen arrives on Netflix in the U.S. this Friday and we were fortunate to speak to one of the film’s stars Kane Robinson and co-director Daniel Kaluuya ahead of the premiere.

Netflix The Kitchen

Source: Courtesy / Netflix

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.

We 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 Global Grind. “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.”

Netflix The Kitchen

Source: Courtesy / Netflix

Over the course of the film, we follow a critical relationship that evolves between Robinson’s character Izi and Jedaiah Bannerman’s character Benji.

“For me it’s like, what is a father?” Kaluuya asked. “That’s really what we were navigating. It’s like what is that saying if you haven’t been present? What does that mean now that you’re present? Are you there? Are you friends? Are you there for them? And I think the bond was more interesting than the role. So we started deconstructing the role to see if they will be able to create a bond essentially.”

“I know you guys were toying with whether is he’s the father or not for a little while,” Robinson said to Kaluuya,”But.. I think it’s not it’s not necessarily the most important thing. It’s whether he’s going to step up and be there for this person. It could be as a father figure or an older brother or an uncle — just kind of be there for him. The moment where Benji is like, ‘OK are you gonna be my dad?’ and he was like, ‘Would you want me to be?’ and Benji says, ‘We’ll see how it goes,’ and I think that’s more real. I didn’t grow up with my dad around but I had many other people in my life that would kind of fill that role so it doesn’t have to be biologically, it’s just being a good human.”

Netflix The Kitchen

Source: Chris Harris / Netflix

In a new trailer for the film, we are introduced to Arsenal FC legend and former England striker Ian Wright’s Lord Kitchener character – the DJ, de facto ‘leader’ and father figure to the community of The Kitchen as they make their last stand – guiding and inspiring them to resist and never forget they stand stronger together.

Here’s a little more about THE KITCHEN :

In a dystopian London, the gap between rich and poor has been stretched to its limits. All forms of social housing have been eradicated and only The Kitchen remains. A community that refuses to move out of the place they call home. This is where we meet a solitary Izi, living here by necessity and desperately trying to find a way out, and a 12-year-old Benji, who has lost his mother and is searching for a family. We follow our unlikely pair as they struggle to forge a relationship in a system that is stacked against them.

The Kitchen arrives on Netflix Friday, January 19, 2024