Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Performer to Watch: David Oyelowo

When you watch Lee Daniels' The Butler the two performances/actors who draw you in first are both Forrest Whitaker, and Oprah Winfrey.  There is a sheer magnetism to both of their performances, but one of the other stand outs is the lesser known David Oyelowo who plays the older version of their oldest son Louis Gaines.  In the The Butler Oyelowo's Louis takes the complete opposite path his father has taken; he is activist who throughout the years stands with Martin Luther King Jr., the Black Panthers, and for Nelson Mandella (in the States).

Oyelowo's performance in The Butler is memorable; he provides a framework with which you get to see two different generations vantage point of the continuing Civil Rights movement, and he is a fantastic actor. While Oyelowo was not in Lee Daniels' first film Precious; he was in The Paperboy, and while the film itself was more of a clunker his performance is one which stands out.  Oyelowo is a star on the the rise, who will be making an even bigger splash in the next couple years.

As stated above Oyelowo is not new to television/film; he has appeared in the British television series MI-5, the British mini-series Five Days, the CBS show The Good Wife, and the HBO series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.  Oyelowo has done more work in film, and made a bigger impact in numerous supporting roles.  After seeing him in The Butler, I remembered him most from The Paperboy, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  In Apes he played the man who ran the lab and pushed James Franco's character to go forward with Alzheimer's drug.  Oyelowo has also had roles in Lincoln, Jack Reacher, and Red Tails.

While Oyelowo has been great in a lot of different roles, it's his terrific performance in Lee Daniels' The Butler, which has me the most excited. In the next few years Oyelowo has a lot of exciting projects including, a bio-pic about Nina Simone starring Zoe Saldana entitled Nina set for a 2013 release.  I think I am most excited for Oyelowo to be a part of the Christopher Nolan world; he is listed as one of the stars in Nolan's next film Interstellar, which is set to be released in 2014.  Oyelowo has a bright future ahead of him, and I am excited to see what comes next.

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