Brad Pitt amused attendees at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Saturday night by breaking into an impromptu song to teach fans and critics alike how to properly pronounce David Oyelowo’s name.
The superstar helped to produce Oyelowo’s new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, Selma, through his Plan B Productions company, and he took it upon himself at the California event to teach others how to say the British actor’s Nigerian last name.
Before introducing the Lee Daniels’ The Butler star to the stage to present him with the Breakthrough Performance Award (Male), Pitt said, “I know that there is one lingering question in the back of your minds and that question is, how the hell do you pronounce his name? It’s all right, I’ve been there, and I’m here to help.”
He proceeded to lead the crowd in a sing-along pronunciation of Oyelowo’s name to the tune of popular soccer chant, Ole, Ole, Ole.
Turning serious, he then hailed Oyelowo as “a man whose name will one day be synonymous with (Sidney) Poitier and (Sir Laurence) Olivier.”
As a flattered Oyelowo stepped up to the platform to accept his prize, he quipped, “You know you’ve ‘broken through’ when Brad Pitt sings your name!”
The ceremony also featured touching tributes from Shirley MacLaine, who presented Boyhood director Richard Linklater with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award, while Laura Dern was on hand to honor Reese Witherspoon with the Chairman’s Award, and Robert Downey, Jr. celebrated the career of his The Judge co-star and Icon Award recipient Robert Duvall, who was so moved by the honor, he struggled to fight back tears.