1 April 1976 |
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
|Spouse(s)||Jessica Oyelowo (1998 - present)|
David Oyelowo (born 1 April 1976) is a Nigerian actor.
Early life and training
He first attended a youth theatre after being invited by a girl to whom he was attracted. He then studied theatre studies for A level at City and Islington College and his teacher suggested he should become an actor. After A levels Oyelowo enrolled for a year on an art foundation course, before winning a place and scholarship at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), finishing his three-year training in 1998.
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 in Oroonoko (which he also performed in the BBC radio adaptation) and Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (1999) alongside Guy Henry, Frances 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 2001 Ian Charleson Award for best performance by an actor under 30 in a classical play. (A few years later, in comparison, Adrian Lester's casting as Henry V drew little comment.) Oyelowo said of this experience:
- "It's fascinating to work with a company of actors of such different ages, experience and talents. I'm one of a generation brought up on television whose acting is more 'naturalistic', whereas with some of the older generation it's more heightened. But I think there's room for both styles."
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.
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 defense attorney Leonard Grisham), whilst he has played recurring or main characters in Five Days (2007) and The 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. In March 2010 he played the part of Keme Tobodo in the BBC's drama series Blood and Oil.
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 as Mrs Equiano.
In 2007, Oyelowo was the reader for John le Carré's The Mission Song. AudioFile 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."
|2001||Dog Eat Dog||CJ|
|2005||A Sound of Thunder||Payne|
|2005||The Best Man||Graham|
|2006||As You Like It||Orlando De Boys|
|2006||The Last King of Scotland||Dr. Junju|
|2008||Who Do You Love?||Muddy Waters|
|2008||A Raisin in the Sun||Joseph Asagai|
|2011||Rise of the Planet of the Apes||Steven Jacobs|
|2011||The Help||Preacher Green|
|2011||Selma||Martin Luther King, Jr.|
|2012||Red Tails||Lt. Joe "Lightning" Little|
|2012||The Paperboy||Yardley Acheman|
|2012||Middle of Nowhere||Brian||Nomination - Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male|
|2013||The Butler||Louis Gaines|
|2015||Jurassic World||Unknown Role|
- "David Oyelowo: An actor's life - Features - Theatre & Dance". The Independent. 2007-01-18. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- My first boss, interview, Guardian
- Gerard Gilbert, "Upwardly mobile: David Oyelowo on going from Tooting Bec to Tom Cruise's jet", The Independent, 9 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
- "Notices", LAMDA, Spring 2011. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
- His IMDB page.
- In my head this is massive, interview, Guardian 2005
- BBC – Press Office – Network Radio Programme Information Week 15 Easter Sunday 15 April 2007[dead link]
- "AudioFile audiobook review: The Mission Song By John le Carré, Read by David Oyelowo". AudioFile. Aug/ Sep 07. Retrieved 8 Sept, 2013.
- "From Spooks to Lincoln, Complicit star David Oyelowo is about to make it big in Hollywood". Metro UK. 2013-02-15. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
- David Oyelowo at the Internet Movie Database
- Kellaway, Kate (8 July 2001). "My kingdom for a part". The Observer. Retrieved 6 November 2007.
- "David Oyelowo Interview". STREETBRAND Magazine. Archived from the original on 2007-12-16. Retrieved 9 September 2013.