Jordan Peele became the first African-American to win 'Best Original Screenplay' at the Oscars for his culturally-relevant horror Get Out - in an award he describes as a "renaissance" moment for Hollywood.
He said that while the whole process of making his satirical, racism-tackling film was a "gruelling" one, he appreciates that the victory is "much bigger than me".
The American writer and comedian (Keanu, Key and Peele) said he almost didn't get into directing because of the shortage of role models that came before him.
Speaking with the Press Association, Peele said filmmakers like Spike Lee and Boyz N the Hood Oscar-winner John Singleton almost seemed like the "exception to the rule".
I just won an Oscar. WTF?!?— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) March 5, 2018
"It's a renaissance," he told reporters backstage, "I feel proud to be at the beginning of a movement where I feel like the best films in every genre are being brought to me by my fellow black directors."
On the path to his landmark victory, Peele admits that he sometimes questioned what the process was all about.
"When the nominations for this came together, first of all I had this amazing feeling of looking at the 12-year-old who had this burning in my guts for this type of validation," he added:
"I instantly realised that an award like this is much bigger than me."
"This is about paying it forward to the young people who might not believe they can achieve the highest honour – in whatever craft they want to push for."
"Am I about to auctioned off right now?" Jordan Peele, facing a sea of journalists backstage at the Oscars: We raise numbers, like an auction, to be called on to ask questions, (and, creepily, it's not unlike "Get Out")— Cara Buckley (@caraNYT) March 5, 2018
Peele cited Whoopi Goldberg's 1991 speech, for her 'Best Supporting Actress' Oscar win for Ghost, as being "a huge inspiration to me".
"I want to thank everybody who makes movies," Goldberg said.
"I come from New York. As a little kid, I lived in the projects and you are the people I watched, you're the people that made me want to be an actor. I'm so proud to be here, I'm proud to be an actor and I'm going to keep on acting."
.@JordanPeele: "I'm so proud to be a part of the beginning of the movement. I feel like the best films in every genre are being brought to me by my favorite black directors." #Oscars pic.twitter.com/Wgmm7nbY1I— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 5, 2018
Get Out, which stars British-Ugandan actor Daniel Kaluuya, was Peele's first attempt at directing a full-length film. It had also garnered a nomination for best picture.
He rose to fame as one half of the comedy duo in the Comedy Central series Key and Peele.