Wednesday, 18 February 2015


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 David Oyelowo

David Oyelowo
David Oyelowo Photo Taken By Tyler Boye.jpg
Oyelowo in 2012
BornDavid Oyetokunbo Oyelowo
1 April 1976 (age 38)
OxfordOxfordshireEngland,United Kingdom
OccupationActor, producer, director, writer
Years active1998–present
Spouse(s)Jessica Oyelowo (m. 1998)
David Oyetokunbo Oyelowo (/ɵˈjɛlɵw/ ə-yel-ə-woh; born 1 April 1976)[1] is an English actor. He has played supporting roles in the films Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Middle of Nowhere (2012), Lincoln (2012), and garnered praise for portraying Louis Gaines in The Butler (2013). On television, he played MI5 officer Danny Hunter in the British series Spooks (2002–04), and as of 2014, provides the voice of Imperial Security Bureau agent Kallus on the animated series Star Wars Rebels.[2] In 2014, Oyelowo played Martin Luther King, Jr. in the biographical drama film Selma, for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor (Drama).[3]

Early life and training

Oyelowo was born in OxfordEngland, to Nigerian parents of Yoruba ethnicity.[4] His mother worked for British Rail, and his father, Stephen, worked for then state-owned British Airways.[5][6]
He first attended a youth theatre after being invited by a girl on whom he had a crush.[7] He then studied theatre studies for A levels at City and Islington College, where his teacher suggested that he become an actor. After A levels Oyelowo enrolled for a year in an art foundation course, subsequently winning a place, and a scholarship at theLondon Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).[6] He finished his three-year training in 1998.[8]



He began his stage career in 1999 when he was offered a season with the Royal Shakespeare Company playing roles in Ben Jonson's Volpone, as the title character inOroonoko (which he also performed in the BBC radio adaptation) and Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (1999) alongside Guy HenryFrances de la Tour and Alan Bates. His next theatrical role is his best-known one – his performance as King Henry VI in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2001 productions of Shakespeare's trilogy of plays about the king as a part of its season This England: The Histories. In a major landmark for colour-blind casting, Oyelowo was the first black actor to play an English king in a major production of Shakespeare, and although this casting choice was initially criticised by some in the media, Oyelowo's performance was critically acclaimed and later won the 2001Ian Charleson Award for best performance by an actor under 30 in a classical play.
In 2005, he appeared in a production of Prometheus Bound, which was revived in New York in 2007. In 2006, he made his directorial debut on a production of The White Devil, produced by his own theatre company in Brighton, Inservice, co-run with fellow Brighton-based actors Priyanga Burford, Israel Aduramo, Penelope Cobbuld, and his wife, Jessica.[9]


Oyelowo is best known for playing MI5 officer Danny Hunter in the British TV drama series Spooks (known in North America as MI-5) from 2002 to 2004. He had before that appeared in Tomorrow La Scala (2002), Maisie Raine (1998) and Brothers and Sisters (1998). Soon after the end of his time on Spooks Oyelowo made a cameo appearance in the 2005 Christmas special of As Time Goes By. In 2006 he appeared in the TV film Born Equal alongside Nikki Amuka-Bird as a couple fleeing persecution in Nigeria – they also both appeared in Shoot the Messenger (2006), and in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (2008) as a husband and wife. Other cameos have included Mayo (guest-starring on 30 April 2006) and the TV film Sweet Nothing in My Ear (2008, as defence attorney Leonard Grisham), while he has played recurring or main characters in Five Days (2007) andThe Passion (2008, as Joseph of Arimathea).
In December 2009 he played the leading role of Gilbert in the BBC TV adaptation of Andrea Levy's novel Small Island.[10] In March 2010 he played the part of Keme Tobodo in the BBC's drama series Blood and Oil[11]


He appeared as Olaudah Equiano in Grace Unshackled – The Olaudah Equiano Story, a radio play adapting Equiano's autobiography. This was first broadcast on BBC 7 on Easter Sunday, 8 April 2007, with Jessica Oyelowo as Mrs Equiano.[12]

Audio book

In 2007, Oyelowo was the reader for John le Carré's The Mission SongAudioFile magazine stated: "Think of David Oyelowo as a single musician playing all the instruments in a symphony. That is essentially what he manages in this inspired performance of John le Carré's suspense novel.... Can it really have been only one man in the narrator's recording booth? This virtuoso performance makes that seem impossible."[13]


In 2012 Oyelowo appeared in Middle of Nowhere. Writer-director Ava DuVernay had been a fan of his work and had considered asking him to take the role, however before she could Oyelowo received the script coincidentally from a friend of DuVernay's who happened to be sitting next to him on the plane and was considering investing in the project.[14]The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival to critical raves. That same year Oyelowo appeared in Lee Daniels′ The Paperboy, which competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[15]
Oyelowo reunited with Daniels the following year in The Butler.
In 2014 he reunited with his Middle of Nowhere director Ava DuVernay for Selma, playing civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. The film, based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches, had originally been set to be directed by Lee Daniels, but the project was dropped by Daniels so he could focus on The Butler.
Oyelowo is also slated to star with Lupita Nyong'o in Americanah, a film to be adapted from the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie novel. The story follows a pair of young Nigerian immigrants who face a lifetime of struggle while their relationship endures.[16]

Personal life

He is married to actress Jessica Oyelowo,[4] with whom he has four children.[17] They live in Los Angeles.[17]
A devout Christian, Oyelowo has stated that he believes God called him to play Rev. Martin Luther King. Reflecting on his portrayal of King in the film Selma, Oyelowo has asserted that “I always knew that in order to play Dr. King, I had to have God flow through me because when you see Dr. King giving those speeches, you see that he is moving in his anointing."[18]


1998Maisie RaineSonny McDonald"Food of Love"
1998Brothers and SistersLester Peters
2002–2004SpooksDanny Hunter
2005As Time Goes ByPatrick2 episodes
2006Shoot the MessengerJoseph PascaleTV Movie
2006The Gil Mayo MysteriesEddie Barton, 'Sexy' M.P."Episode #1.8"
2007Five DaysMatt Wellings4 episodes
2008A Raisin in the SunJoseph AsagaiTV Movie
2008The PassionJoseph of ArimatheaTV Miniseries (1 episode)
2008The No. 1 Ladies' Detective AgencyKremlin Busang"The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency"
2009Small IslandGilbertTV Movie
2010Blood and OilKeme TobodoTV Movie
2011The Good WifeJudge Edward Weldon"Two Courts"
2010–2011Glenn Martin, DDSTeacher/Clarence2 episodes
2013ComplicitEdward EkuboTV Movie
2014Star Wars RebelsAgent Kallus[2][19]

2001Dog Eat DogCJ
2005A Sound of ThunderPayne
2005The Best ManGraham
2005DerailedPatrol Officer
2006As You Like ItOrlando De Boys
2006The Last King of ScotlandDr. Junju
2008Who Do You Love?Muddy Waters
2008A Raisin in the SunJoseph Asagai
2011Rise of the Planet of the ApesSteven Jacobs
2011The HelpPreacher Green
201196 MinutesDuane
2012Red TailsLt. Joe "Lightning" Little
2012The PaperboyYardley Acheman
2012Middle of NowhereBrianNominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
2012LincolnIra Clark
2012Jack ReacherEmerson
2013The ButlerLouis GainesNAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2014SelmaMartin Luther King, Jr.African-American Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Palm Springs International Film Festival Breakthrough Performance Award
Nominated – Awards Circuit Community Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated – Village Voice Film Poll Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actor
Pending – Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Pending – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture
Pending – Black Reel Award for Best Actor
Pending – Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
2014A Most Violent YearLawrencePending – Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actor
2015CaptiveBrian NicholsPost-production