One of the things I have an allergic reaction to playing, especially as a black actor, is the mandatory kind of best friend/cop/detective type. You will never see me in that movie.— David Oyelowo
The most heartwarming David Oyelowo quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you
I think it's vital to have something outside your acting to keep you rooted in the real world, and help you fill the vacuum. If you have nothing else, it can be unhealthy. For me being a Christian has been invaluable: it simply means acting isn't the centre of my life.
If you merely focus on what we already know, then it's not revelatory.
You may as well just go and watch a documentary or a few videos on Youtube, and you're good.
I don't have a tailor, but I do love clothes.
My parents are very hard working people who did everything they could for their children. I have two brothers and they worked dog hard to give us an education and provide us with the most comfortable life possible. My dad provided for his family daily. So, yes, that is definitely in my DNA.
There's a nimble quality to the way a television actor can work.
When that muscle gets strong it's a very valuable thing.
The wonderful situation that I find myself in now, is that choosing the roles I want is more of a reality for me. As a result, I take it very seriously, because I find this opportunity in film to be a very powerful and influential medium.
I do think opportunity breeds bravery.
It's such a competitive profession, no one owes you anything, talent in itself is not enough. I went to drama school with so many great actors who are not doing it anymore and it's circumstantial.
At the end of the day, everyone knows what it is to be loved and to aspire to love someone, to want to be loved, the loss of love, or having their love be opposed, whether it is family, friends or politically.
Whether we like to admit it or not, as artists, we do project our own worldview on to what we do.
To break down prejudice is to get to a place of understanding, that can erode the ignorance.
I know I had my equivalents in Adrian Lester and Lenny James when I was at drama school. I remember David Harewood doing 'Othello' at the National, and Adrian Lester having done Cheek by Jowl's famous 'As You Like It and Company' at the Donmar. Not necessarily performances I saw, but just the fact they happened was massively encouraging.
I certainly don't feel there's a distinction to be made between a television and a film actor. I think there's a distinction between great actors and not so great actors. But I really think if you watch a person working in television give a wonderful performance, that person is f - ing great, because there is no time.
I think the notion that we are different just because of skin color, and that we should be kept apart or kept from interbreeding, is very hurtful.
One of the occupational hazards of being an actor, the reason why so many actors are insecure, is that the only way we know we're good is when other people tell us.
In what I do for a living, trust and confidence are key.
Inevitably, you can't make brave choices and do your best work, if you don't have those, because it's such a subjective art form, and you don't have eyes on yourself.
I love tennis, love it!
Find the audience, be excellent, and you will be fine.
People have compact to go beyond our own culture and upbringing to a degree that I think we don't acknowledge enough really.
The thing that would probably surprise most people was that Dr.
Martin Luther King was a very reluctant leader. He felt very shocked at times that he had been chosen for this path, but he also understood that he was chosen for this path. He had several moments of acute doubt as to if he was up for the task - when people were injured in the protests he took it very personally, let alone when they were killed.
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.
You're always looking for roles and other creatives who are going to be challenging to you, because you're always a better actor after the experience.
There is still a fundamental misunderstanding, when it comes to observing that when someone is black and someone is white, then that difference is enough to warrant the idea that they shouldn't be together. We are so much more alike in nature than we are different, and my ambition with the roles I choose to do is to break down that prejudice, by showing how much I - as a man - am just a man.
I'm one of those actors who says, "Point me toward the work that matters to me and I don't care where you're putting it. Television show. Movie. Projected on the back of someone's garage." If that's where the work is that's exciting to me and moving, I want to be there.
I know that there is still a lot of bitterness and anger, and arguably justifiably so, when you think about how brutal slavery was and what its brutal legacy still is.
I truly believe that one of the things that has been lacking in the USA is a spirit of repentance about the injustices of slavery and the injustices of segregation and racism generally.
The perception of Africa, whether in the U.
S. or in Europe, is of a continent that needs help, and cannot pull itself up. That is just not true.
I know for a fact the reason I'm an actor is because one, two, maybe three people when I was younger saw something that I did, in youth theater or some small play somewhere, and said, "You're good."
I think what a lot of people don't realize is how much being the leader of this movement weighed upon him. After all, he [Dr. Martin Luter King] was only 39 years-old when he was assassinated, and only 36 during the Selma campaign. He always seemed older than he actually was, and I believe part of that had to do with just how much life he had to live in order to lead this movement.
There are many, many communities, many ethnic minorities, many civilizations that have been brutalised by others and you have to move on. You cannot perpetually stay in that place of blame, otherwise it's just a downward spiral.
Martin Luther King was a voice to the voiceless, and he did that tirelessly, and his faith was the engine to that. But he was just a human being, at the end of the day.
My ambition is to keep the audience guessing... that is my path to a long career.
Don't send me your script if you want me to play the black best friend; I just won't do that.
I gravitate towards anything that feels challenging to me, that feels like it's gonna be saying something a bit different and new to the audience, and anything that moves me. I do movies that I would want to see, so I don't necessarily gravitate towards any genre in particular. I just try and do the best work I can and also try to keep the audience guessing.
Africa is trying to find its way back to a sense of itself, when much of that was lost through colonization.
Excellence is the best weapon against prejudice.
Sunday at 11 o'clock is the most segregated hour in America.
You have black churches; you have white churches; you have Hispanic churches. It's not really reflective of the world we live in, by and large, in America.
I'm very aware that people find my wife and I's marriage disagreeable.
But all I have to do is look at my four kids, and the love I have in my heart for my wife after 18 years of marriage, and the ugliness does fade.
Considering how pervasive interracial marriage is, certainly in American society, it is rare we get to see it depicted on film.
I'm very aware of how much movies, literature and art affect culture.
They are a reflection of the world around us and they are also a means by which we engage with the world around us.
Female directors, directors of color are a big thing for me, which are both important voices and potent voices that need to be heard. That's how I want to engage myself as an actor going forward.
I never, ever do a film and just kind of move on.
I think of them as children of mine, and you don't give birth to a baby and just leave it on someone else's doorstep. You see it all the way through college.
I consider myself a human being, a Christian, a father, a husband, so many things, before being a black person.
I am a father, I am very aware of the things that I'm putting out in the world knowing that one day my children will watch the work that I've done. I want to be able to stand by it.
That's what's so satisfying about acting.
You can come as prepared as you like, but there's no accounting for what's going to come at you from the other actor. That's part of the joy and the play of it. If you don't have that it's a different kind of performance.
Dr. Martin Luther King was never a man to say 'I've got this' as the leader of the movement. He wasn't always sure that his decisions were correct, because he knew every decision he made was putting lives at risk, including his and his family's lives.
I truly believe that one of the things that has been lacking in America is a spirit of repentance about the injustices of slavery and the injustices of segregation and racism generally. I truly believe that we cannot come to a place of reconciliation until there is individual repentance and corporate repentance.
I feel television is in a fantastically rich vein of what it's presenting both by opportunity to actors and to audiences.
I hear God as an audible voice.
When I am playing a role far away from me with an accent that is not mine I always employ a dialect coach. I am almost always playing someone that has an accent that is not mine.