British actor Daniel Kaluuya — who won Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars last year for his role in “Judas and the Black Messiah” — is beloved in Hollywood as a down-to-earth guy. But insiders are concerned after he has jettisoned his agents and publicists and seems to be under the influence of a charismatic “life strategist.”
Heir Holiness called herself Kaluuya’s personal manager on a now-deleted LinkedIn page seen by The Post. She has also described herself as “Head Mistress” for “The International Alma Mater, Blessed University.”
“To be honest, we can’t quite figure out who she is…we really have no clue as his team has shifted camps,” said a well-placed source.
The Post has confirmed from multiple sources that Heir was by Kaluuya’s side as he filmed “Nope,” his second horror movie with director Jordan Peele after 2017’s “Get Out,” in California last summer.
Last month, Matt Belloni of Puck News reported: “Holiness’ behavior during the filming of Jordan Peele’s ‘Nope,’ in which Kaluuya stars, caused people on set to be concerned about her influence over the British actor.”
“People on the ‘Nope’ set were very concerned that Heir had ‘taken over’ DK’s life and all decisions had to go through her,” said an industry insider. “I’ve heard there were multiple blow-ups and the production people were afraid of her.”
A Hollywood source told The Post: “Was everyone a fan of Heir on set? No.”
Puck also reported that Kaluuya, 33, had fired his powerful talent agents at CAA, which reps such A-listers as Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Reese Witherspoon. He signed with the agency in 2018 shortly after filming “Get Out.”
A CAA spokesperson told The Post: “I can confirm that Daniel Kaluuya is not a client of the agency.”
“Heir Holiness has marginalized DK’s usual team,” said the industry insider.
The actor also reportedly terminated his publicist at Shelter PR after a four-year relationship that included his 2021 sweep of the Oscar, BAFTA, SAG and Golden Globes. Kaluuya briefly retained ID PR for a brief stint before axing that firm as well. He does, however, maintain his longtime manager at Management360 and his reps in London. Reps for Shelter and ID, as well as his management company and new publicist at Rogers & Cowan PMK, were unavailable for comment.
One source who knows Kaluuya well told The Post that the star had also sacked his stylist and multiple assistants at the behest of Heir Holiness.
“There are many actors and artists in Hollywood who work with spiritual advisors and use them for guidance and support,” a movie insider noted. “But … him leaving his agency and his publicists, that’s the unusual thing. It’s kind of weird.”
A source who knows Kaluuya, who is single, believes that the actor first met Heir Holiness on the set of the 2018 movie “Black Panther.”
“Apparently, he was introduced to Heir Holiness through a makeup artist, who is some sort of crystals guru,” said the Kaluuya source.
When the source first heard of Heir, she was going by the name Heir Princess. The Post can reveal that her real name is Vanylla Salimah Mahmoud. The 50-year-old hails from California and has at least three Twitter accounts, one of which is private. There is also an Instagram account with messages like “I’m just a spiritual gangster serving a life sentence in a human body.”
The Kaluuya source revealed the actor — who thanked God during his Oscars speech — and Heir were so close during the publicity run of “Judas and the Black Messiah” that he would fly her to Los Angeles from Las Vegas every week for spiritual healing, mental exercises and a diet of herbal supplements to lose weight.
The Post has seen a photo of them cuddling up together on a hot air balloon ride, with Kaluuya at Soho House in West Hollywood, and celebrating his Feb. 24 birthday at a bash thrown by British actor Damson Idris.
Kaluuya was last known to be dating a woman based in NYC, but that has ended, according to sources who know him. One claimed that Heir may have influenced the breakup.
When contacted by The Post this week, a woman who confirmed that she is Heir Holiness denied working with or for Kaluuya and said she had only met him a few times.
“People are saying I work with Daniel Kaluuya?” she said. “I would love to work with Daniel Kaluuya.”
The woman, who said that her moniker was derived from a slave name, confirmed that she had run The International Alma Mater, Blessed University “before the pandemic.”
The International Alma Mater School of Ascension has called itself “an institution created to serve today’s woman in business with education in Leadership, Empowerment and Spiritual Self Sufficiency as a foundation for excellence in Life & Business.”
A website for the school no longer works.
An online bio for Heir states that she has a B.S., M.S. and PhD in Holistic Health, Parapsychic Science from the American Institute of Holistic Theology. It adds that she is skilled in Wellness Coaching, Executive Coaching, Spiritual Healing, Energy Healing and Building Relationships, among other things.
A Hollywood insider who has met Heir said that she is a great colorful character, adding that she runs Kaluuya’s day to day life, but has no jurisdiction over his work.
Kaluuya was born in London to Ugandan parents, Stephen Kaluuya and Damalie Namusoke. They split after his birth and his mom raised him and his older sister in public housing.
In 2018, he told the New York Times that he did not connect with his dad’s family until he was 15. His dad is believed to be an NHS worker living in the UK.
“I went to a Catholic boys school in north London called St. Aloysius. It was a boisterous school, man—a lot of fighting energy,” Kaluuya told Vice in 2017. “There was a time where we had all-year detention, where the school would lock up our whole [grade] because there were fights and knife crime.”
Kaluuya wrote his first play at age 9 and went on to appeared on a laundry list of TV shows, including “Skins.”
He has said he battled for his big break-out role in “Get Out,” telling Vice, “The way I’ve been brought up was similar to the African American narrative: I was working class, I had to fight for this, and I had to out-work everyone in order to get anywhere and anything.”
At last year’s Oscars, The Post is told, he caused a furor behind the scenes by desperately trying to get his mom a visa waiver to fly to Hollywood for the ceremony, which was presented on a much smaller than usual scale because of COVID concerns.
“Daniel put the Academy through the ringer,” said the source who knows him well. “All the borders were closed. There was no way anyone could make [getting her from London to Los Angeles] happen. Even though Daniel could have flown back to the UK to join his mom for the ceremony there, he wanted her in LA.
“It got to the point where [Oscars producer] Steven Soderbergh was reaching out to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. But no one was getting in. I think Daniel blamed a lot of people around him for this.”
Looking ahead, Kaluuya has launched his own production company, 59%, and is working on “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
Meanwhile, people who have worked with him hope he makes the best decisions for himself, with or without his Heir Holiness.
“Everyone who worked hard for Daniel is confused by all of this [upheaval],” said the Kaluuya source, “and really quite upset.”