Classically-trained actor David Oyelowo has done such an amazing job perfecting his “American” accent in his roles that we sometimes forget he’s from Oxford, England!
He’s an incredibly versatile actor. David got his start at the Royal Shakespeare company in London. From there, he took smaller parts on British TV and in movies like The Help and Jack Reacher. You may be familiar with his work as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s 2014 film Selma. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the late civil rights activist.
David’s latest movie is Don’t Let Go which was just released. It’s a supernatural thriller that melds elements of murder-mystery with that of a police procedural. The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. In it, David plays Detective Jack Radcliff. He’s a man in a rush against time to save his family. David stars opposite fellow DuVernay alum Storm Reid.
He’s quite good in it. But, then again, David’s good in everything. When Bullseye talked to the actor in 2018 David had just starred in a movie that could not have been more different than an academy award nominated biopic like Selma. Starring in an action comedy called Gringo, David played Harold Soyinka. He’s kind of a middle manager at a big pharmaceutical company in Chicago. The company’s decided to get in on the medical marijuana business in a big way – by manufacturing a weed pill. So they send Harold to Mexico to deliver the formula.
We hope this isn’t a spoiler, but things don’t go as planned for Harold.
Before long he’s swept into Mexico’s criminal underground. He gets kidnapped. He gets shot at. He gets in a car chase with a cartel hit man. Oyelowo’s character, for his part, is barely aware of what’s going and spends pretty much everything freaking out. It’s goofy, it’s kind of dumb, and it’s really funny.
Gringo is streaming on Amazon Prime.
Don’t Let Go is in theaters now.
This interview originally aired in March of 2018.
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Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.
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