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David Oyelowo Talks Taking Risks as an Actor + What Being Cast in ‘Selma’ Did for His Career

David Oyelowo Talks Taking Risks as an Actor + What Being Cast in 'Selma' Did for His Career

More from The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Emmy rountable series; this one features the actors in contention, and among them is David Oyelowo, who is nominated for his performance in the HBO movie “Nightingale.”

THR hasn’t yet released the full actors roundtable video yet – just clips of each actor addressing various questions asked specifically of them (although there’s a transcript of the full conversation on THR’s website).

The below clip features Oyelowo speaking on taking risks and challenging oneself as an actor, as he did with “Nightingale,” in which he was the only actor, literally carrying the entire film solo, in a tour de force performance – hence his Emmy nomination. In the video, he also talks about what the announcement of his casting in “Selma” did for his career; not even the performance itself, but just the announcement that he had been cast, which, as he says, led to almost immediate offers, seemingly taking him entirely by surprise, since he was a relative *unknown* at the time (in Hollywood anyway). 

One highlight from the transcript that’s not in the below video is David’s response to a question about his being “snubbed” by the Academy for his performance in “Selma.” He said: “Two blessings came from all of that. If people perceived that something they wished for you didn’t happen for you, that’s a lot of goodwill you’re stirring up with a lot of people. People are rooting for you, and that’s priceless. But to have them constantly saying, ‘I think you should have gotten this,’ you go, ‘Hold on.’ I’ve been to Nigeria with that film and seen two electoral candidates sign a peace pledge after watching it. I’ve been to the White House and watched it with President Obama and Michelle Obama. That’s why you make a film like ‘Selma.’ There was a danger that if I had been nominated, or even won, that those thousands of people would creep into my head the next time I gave a performance. I’ve had my work in ‘Selma’ validated beyond all of that in a way I’ll never [forget]. We all love our backs being patted for what we do, but I think to keep your powder dry, you have to find your Albuquerque.”

Read the transcript here. Watch the clip below.

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