David Oyelowo has worked with a lot of very important people in Hollywood. In the past two years, he has shared screen time with megawatt stars like Daniel Day-Lewis, in Lincoln; Tom Cruise, in Decemberâ€™s Jack Reacher; and Oprah Winfrey, in next yearâ€™s The Butler.
Heâ€™s fulï¬lled almost every thespianâ€™s dream of running lines under directorial deities George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, and has gotten quite a bit of shine from indie ï¬lms like 96 Minutes and the critically acclaimed Middle of Nowhere, directed by award-winning ï¬lmmaker Ava DuVernay. While many would describe his rise to stardom as sudden, the reality is, itâ€™s been a steady 14 years in the making.
â€œIâ€™m a great believer in the slow climb when it comes to being an actor,â€ says Oyelowo during a short break from shooting the Nina Simone biopic, Nina, starring Zoe Saldana. â€œI think itâ€™s always dangerous when you get a lot of success at a young age and you havenâ€™t had time to mature in your craft.â€
After graduating from drama school in the U.K. in 1998, the 36-year-old Nigerian-Brit spent a great deal of time honing his chops onstage and on the small screen before jumping into ï¬lm roles. â€œI deliberately turned a lot of stuï¬€ down that I felt wasnâ€™t going to be the kind of thing that I would be proud of in the long run, which is probably why it took as long as it did to get to where I am.â€