David Oyelowo (pronounced – “oh-yellow-oh”), a classically trained stage actor, has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents. He graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and received the “Scholarship for Excellence” from Nicholas Hytner in 1998.
Oyelowo first impressed audiences on the stage when he starred in The Suppliants at the Gate Theatre playing King Palasgus, for which he received the Ian Charleson award commendation. Following this he played the title role of Henry VI, becoming the first black actor to play an English king for the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company). The role won him The Ian Charleson Award and an Evening Standard awardnomination. Other theatre credits include an acclaimed performance in Richard Bean’s The God Botherers at the Bush Theatre and the title role in Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, which was off-Broadway for which David received rave reviews.
Beyond theatre David starred in the BAFTA award winning series Spooks/MI:5 playing Danny Hunter. MI:5 also aired in the US on BBC America. Additionally, he won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor and was also nominated for a BAFTA for the same role for his work on Small Island. David also starred in the BBC1 original television movie Born Equal opposite Colin Firth. As well as ABC’s 2008 production of A Raisin in the Sun alongside Sanaa Lathan, Audra MacDonald and Phylicia Rashad.
David made his US debut in two HBO productions. First starring in the Kenneth Branagh directed As You Like It, in which he played Orlando opposite Bryce Dallas Howard, which aired in August 2006. In October of the same year he was again seen on HBO as the lead in the mini-series Five Days, for which he won the Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for his performance. In 2008, David guest starred in an episode of the acclaimed adaptation of the Alexander McCall Smith novel The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency directed by the late Anthony Minghella.
David received numerous accolades for the recent independent film, Middle of Nowhere, which screened to rave reviews at Sundance and the Toronto Film Festival. The emotionally inspiring film portrays the universal dilemma of how a person maintains oneself as they commit to loving and supporting someone through hardship. David has received nominations for “Best Supporting Actor” for the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards and the 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards on behalf of his work in the film.
He starred opposite Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher, a drama based on a book in Lee Child’s popular crime series. The film tells the story of a homicide investigator who digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who has shot five random victims.
In The Paperboy David stars opposite Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron. Directed by Lee Daniels, the film follows a journalist and his writing partner (David), who return to a small hometown to uncover the truth about a death row inmate, whom they believe was wrongly convicted. The film screened to a 16 minute standing ovation at the Cannes. Additional film credits include the George Lucas produced, Red Tails, which tells the story of the heroic Tuskegee Airmen who fought in WWII and won Best Picture at the NAACP Image Awards, Rise of the Planet of the Apes alongside James Franco and Frieda Pinto, the Academy Award nominated drama The Help, 96 Minutes which premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival, Default, a thriller directed by Simon Brand, Kevin MacDonald’s The Last King of Scotland opposite Forrest Whittaker and James MacAvoy, Who Do You Love in which he played the iconic Muddy Waters, A Sound of Thunder for Warner Bros, Derailed, for Miramax, The Best Man for Redbus and one of his most challenging screen roles to date, the acclaimed BBC2 film Shoot the Messenger.
Oyelowo next stars in Lee Daniels’ drama, The Butler, alongside Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey and in Nina, the story of the late jazz musician and classical pianist Nina Simone, which also stars Zoe Saldana. His latest accolade was for The British television movie, Complicit, for which he was nominated for best actor at The Monte Carlo Television festival 2013.