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David Oyelowo says a director once stopped him from acting during an audition

Oyelowo spoke about challenges, risks, and diversity in Hollywood at THR roundtable.

David OyelowoDavid Oyelowo says a director once stopped him from acting during an audition

The group which also includes Jon Hamm, Matt Bomer, Clive Owen, Callum Turner and Nicholas Galitzine spoke about some of the most memorable events from their careers and risks that they have taken.

In the conversation, Oyelowo disclosed that he once had a director stop him in the middle of an audition. “I once auditioned for a director, who, in the middle of the audition, said, ‘This isn’t working.’ That was pretty bad,” he said.

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Oyelowo also discussed a time in his career when he was hungry for a challenge. After stating this to his agent, he said he got the screenplay for the film Nightingale, which he acknowledged was a risk that ultimately paid off.

He said, “I remember being at a time in my career where I just felt like I wasn’t being challenged enough. I went into my agency, I said this, and then the next thing that hit my doormat was a film called Nightingale. It was just me, in a house, having killed my mother. Eighty pages with no one else. And that was as terrified as I’ve ever been, so be careful what you wish for. And, yeah, it was a risk, but it was definitely one that paid off.

The conversation shifted when he was asked how long it took for him to get Lawmen: Bass Reeves, the Western drama TV series to air.

He said, “This was an eight-year journey. And on each of those, the feedback was, ‘This doesn’t have a place in the marketplace.’ Bass Reeves was deemed to be something that wasn’t global when we made it. It went on to be the most watched show globally for Paramount+ last year.

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Oyelowo also discussed the lack of representation of African stories in the film industry emphasising the need to become involved in the creation of some projects.

Also, as a Black person, there are stories that continue to have resistance to being told. And so, the only way to get them told is to be part of their creation,” he stated.

The discussion wrapped up with a look towards the future. Oyelowo's bucket list includes venturing into the action genre.

I would love to do more action,” he stated.

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