Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 1st 2015 Contents HBO s Nightingale is a small film
with an indelibly big performance by
David Oyelowo, who plays an emo-
tionally damaged man losing himself
further after a spasm of off-camera
The demands of the one-character
drama gave him pause, the British actor
said. But he doesn t shy away from a
challenge, as he proved by his perform-
ance as the Rev Martin Luther King Jr
in Selma, a widely acclaimed turn
despite being overlooked by the Acad-
emy Awards this year.
"The minute I feel like there is a
degree of impossibility, I m there,"
Nightingale which made its debut
on Friday night, was written by Fred-
erick Mensch, directed by Elliott Lester
and is presented by HBO Films and
Brad Pitt s Plan B Entertainment com-
pany, a producer on Selma and key to
the airing of Nightingale, Oyelowo said.
In a recent interview with The Asso-
ciated Press, he discussed the film,
playdates with the Pitt-Angelina Jolie
family and diversity in Hollywood.
Did you draw on anyone you ve
known or encountered for the
Nightingale character of Peter
I ve gone to supermarkets not far
from where I live in LA, and you see
people ... roaming the aisles. You reg-
ister them, and you go about your day.
People like that are wallflowers and
you don t invest much time in why
they seem to be talking to themselves,
or why they seem to be a bit more
angry than your average person, or why
eye contact is something that almost
seems you re pouring acid on them. ...
For me, the film is about those people.
Those people in society who, to be per-
fectly honest, we d rather not deal with
because it s difficult, it s uncomfort-
What was Brad Pitt s involve-
ment in the film?
Brad is a very good friend of mine.
We sort of know each other more as
dads of lots of children. I have four
kids (with wife Jessica Oyelowo, an
actress), he has six, and you can only
imagine the amount of noise and activ-
ity that s generated when we are all
together. Not until Selm did we get
into a creative relationship. (When Pitt
saw Nightingale) he flipped for it. For
him, as a great actor, he was just com-
pletely drawn in by the nature of a sin-
gular character going through a film.
... I ve been a huge beneficiary of advo-
cacy. Selma would not have happened
without Oprah Winfrey (among its pro-
ducers). Nightingale would not be on
HBO without Brad seeing the film and
championing it. It s good to have friends
who can truly make a difference.
Snowden seems to be a virtually
colorblind role. Is that important?
He wasn t written as African-Amer-
ican. Other actors who circled the proj-
ect were all white, and we didn t change
a single stage direction or line to accom-
modate the fact that I m a black actor
playing that role. To me that s fantastic.
... Playing (Martin Luther King) was
about who he was ethnically but even
more who he was as a human being.
With Peter Snowden, to get to play this
role, of course it s significant because
those kind of opportunities don t come
along a lot for black actors. ... Generally
speaking, there must be more in order
to genuinely move the so-called diver-
sity conversation forward.
Do you think you make more
headway as a black actor in Hol-
lywood in part because you are
An English accent is a great sweet-
ener for perceived militancy. That
accent opens a lot of doors, there s no
question. But above and beyond any-
thing one individual has to say, the
work has to do the talking. I think excel-
lence is the best weapon against prej-
udice. ... Anything that anyone has to
say around or about Selma, the quality
of the film is undeniable and the artistry
and production values are undeniable.
Films are for life, not just awards season.
... The truth will withstand all the rest,
all the noise. (AP)
Monday, June 1, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Snowden in the
Oyelowo creates a tortured soul in HBO's Nightingale
I've gone to supermarkets not far from
where I live in LA, and you see people ...
roaming the aisles. You register them, and
you go about your day. People like that are
wallflowers and you don't invest much time
in why they seem to be talking to
themselves, or why they seem to be a bit
more angry than your average person, or
why eye contact is something that almost
seems you're pouring acid on them. ...
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