We bring you the facts about the star of SELMA…

SELMA is released in Irish cinemas this week, and stars Davd Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. The film shines a spotlight on the proposed Civil Rights marches from Selma, Alabama to the State capitol in 1965. Oyelowo gives a powerful performance in SELMA, and Movies.ie have gathered together some facts about the actor…

1. Say what you see
David’s surname is pronounced ‘oh-yeh-lo-wo’, which is pretty much the way it is written.

2. History in the making
David made history in 2000 when he became the first black actor to portray an English monarch for the Royal Shakespeare Company;he played the title role in a production of Henry VI Parts I, II and III.

3. Small Screen
Having had a strong stage career, and before he made his way to the big screen, Oyelowo was best known for his work on the BBC TV series SPOOKS.

4. Read to Me
As well as stage and screen work, Oyelowo was the reader for the audiobook of John le Carré’s The Mission Song. Oyelowo’s voice work was praised, with AudioFile Magazine saying ‘Can it really have been only one man in the narrator’s recording booth? This virtuoso performance makes that seem impossible’.

5. Incarnations
SELMA went through many changes as it made its way to the screen. Notably, Lee Daniels was originally set to direct, when he left the project, David Oyelowo campaigned for Ava DuVernay to take over.

6. Reunited
Oyelowo is set to work with director Ava DuVernay again; he has signed onto her as yet untitled film about the costliest natural disaster in the history of the US; Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005. The two first worked together on DuVernay’s 2012 film MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.

7. Stratospheric
With roles in SELMA, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR and INTERSTELLAR – all of which have been nominated for major Hollywood awards – it is almost certain that Oyelowo’s career is about to take off in a huge way.

8. Colleagues
Although Lee Daniels dropped out of directing SELMA, he and David Oyelowo have worked together in the past; on both THE PAPERBOY and THE BUTLER.

9. Coming Up
David Oyelowo has several projects in development, and is set to star with Lupita Nyong’o in AMERICANAH, based on the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

10. When can I see SELMA?
SELMA is released in Irish cinemas on February 6th, 2015

Words: Brogen Hayes