David Oyelowo worked with a dialect coach and underwent a physical change to portray late U.S. civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in acclaimed new movie Selma.
The Lee Daniels’ The Butler star admits the transformation was difficult to capture, but he trained with a dialect coach and gained weight as he attempted to get into character – and he admits his struggles and the research were worth it.
He tells Good Morning America, “Everyday I would do something to try and get closer to him (King) because I knew this was going to be my future at some point. I worked with an incredible dialect coach…”
Oyelowo also consulted King’s friends and was stunned when civil rights leader and U.S. Congressman John Lewis praised his performance.
He continues, “It was one of the most extraordinary things. I hadn’t met him before. The first time I met him was on the set of Selma and he walked straight up to me; I was in costume as Dr. King, and he said, ‘Dr. King, it is so nice to see you again’. I was just frozen by that, because what a thing for him to say having not seen his friend for nearly 50 years.”
The actor also explains his 30-pound weight gain was important in helping him master the role of the late political icon.
He adds, “I put on quite a bit of weight and shaved my hairline back… It got a little strange… There was this weird spiritual exchange – it’s the only way I can describe it. There was a moment I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t see myself anymore. It was a little bit strange, but I’m glad to be back to me.”
Check back tomorrow for FanBolt’s review of Selma!
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures