DAVID OYELOWO : A MOVIE AND THEATRE PRINCE

David Oyelowo's performances have been recognized for their depth, emotional resonance, and commitment to bringing important stories to the forefront.
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David Oyetokunbo Oyelowo is a British actor, director and producer known for his versatile performances in film, television, and theater. Born on April 1, 1976, in Oxford, England, to Nigerian parents. Oyelowo has garnered critical acclaim for his portrayal of complex and compelling characters.

One of Oyelowo’s most notable roles is that of Martin Luther King Jr. in the 2014 historical drama film “Selma”, and Peter Snowdin in the HBO film “Nightingale” (2014). Both his performances received widespread acclaim and earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Oyelowo’s portrayal of King in “Selma”, showcased his ability to capture the essence of the civil rights leader and brought him international recognition.

Oyelowo has also appeared in other notable films such as; “Dog Eat Dog” (2001), “The Best Man” (2005), “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011), “The Help” (2011), “Lincoln” (2012), “Jack Reacher” (2012), “The Butler”(2013), “A United Kingdom” (2016), “Queen of Katwe” (2016), “A Wrinkle in Time” (2018), “The Water Man” (2020), “The Book of Clarence” (2023), “Role Play” (2024) and he has an upcoming movie actually working on it titled “Solitary”.

In these films, he demonstrated his range as an actor, taking on diverse roles and bringing depth and nuance to each character.

Beyond his film work, Oyelowo has made significant contributions to the theater. He has performed in numerous stage productions, including Shakespearean plays such as “Henry VI”, “Othello” , and many other plays in which he has performed in. His stage work has earned him critical acclaim and awards, showcasing his talent as a versatile actor.

In addition to his acting career, Oyelowo has also ventured into producing. He produced and starred in the film “A United Kingdom”, based on the true story of the marriage between Seretse Khama, the first president of Botswana, and Ruth Williams, a white British woman. His involvement in producing reflects his desire to tell meaningful stories and contribute to the industry beyond acting.

David engaged in Television drama series such as ; “Spooks” (2002-2004), “Tomorrow La Scala” (2002), “Shoot the Messenger” (2006), “Blood and Oil” (2010), “The Good Wife” (2011), “The Girl Before” (2023) and many other series.

In more of his updates, his wife, Jessica Oyelowo, recently released a documentary  movie titled “Becoming King”, which is  directed by her about her husband’s seven-year journey playing the character of  Martin Luther King in the movie “Selma”. The documentary movie was released on February 19th 2024. Speaking to Blex Media, Jessica Oyelowo expressed a commitment to capturing the profound journey of her husband’s career-defining role in Selma.

In her words: “I felt a deep need to document David’s intense preparation for his career-defining role even before Selma was green-lit… I was ready to embrace the challenge and am so happy to play a pivotal role in bringing David’s incredible journey to the screen.”

The project features behind-the-scenes footage, intimate home videos and interviews with friends and mentors like Ava DuVernay, Lee Daniels, George Lucas and Oprah Winfrey. “Becoming King” was executed as a collaboration between Yoruba Saxon and MTV Entertainment Studios, with David and Jessica Oyelowo serving as the producers of the project.

The film was released in celebration of Black History Month, as it takes centre stage in the Black Voices Collection on Paramount+. The collection is expected to showcase a diverse array of films, TV series, documentaries, and comedy specials that highlight the stories and contributions of Black trailblazers in arts, culture, and history. It also includes other films David Oyelowo has appeared in including The Butler and Lawmen: Bass Reeves series.

David was born in Oxford,Oxfordshire, England to Nigerian parents, and he is actually a prince of the Yoruba people in the Nigerian Chieftaincy system. He was brought up as a Baptist Christian. At the age of 6, his family moved to Lagos. He attended a “military-style” boarding school in Lagos called  “Lagos State Model College,Meiran “. By 14, his family returned to London. As he grew up, he got enrolled in Theatre studies at City and Islington College, and later enrolled in an acting foundation course, at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He finished his three year training in 1998, and spent time as well at the National Youth Theatre.

David Oyelowo’s performances have been recognized for their depth, emotional resonance, and commitment to bringing important stories to the forefront. He has become known for his dedication to his craft and his ability to embody complex characters with authenticity and skill. Oyelowo’s work continues to inspire and entertain audiences, establishing him as a highly respected actor in the industry.

Delia Nyadi

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