David Oyelowo to Star in Upcoming Action Comedy, Gringo

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British-Nigerian actor, David Oyelowo will star in the upcoming American action comedy, Gringo, alongside leading South African actress Charlize Theron Blaze.

Combining dark comedy with dramatic intrigue, Gringo joyrides across the border into Mexico, where all is not as it seems for mild-mannered American businessman Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo). Crossing the line from citizen to criminal, Harold tangles with duplicitous business partners, Mexican drug lords, international mercenaries, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). As he attempts to survive in one of the most dangerous places on earth, the question lingers; is this ordinary man in way over his head, or is he two steps ahead?

David Oyelowo is a 40-year-old Nigerian-British screenwriter, actor, director and producer. A classically trained stage actor, Oyelowo developed a passion for acting from a tender age; as a teenager, he was with the National Youth Music Theatre. He studied Theatre Studies at the City and Islington College, where his teacher suggested that he become an actor. Oyelowo enrolled for a year in an art foundation course at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), completing his three-year training in 1998. He later took to more stage work, featuring in The Suppliants. In 2001, his award-winning lead role in Henry VI was the first time a Black actor will play an English king in a major production of Shakespeare by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Although this casting choice was initially criticized by many in the media, Oyelowo’s performance was critically acclaimed and later won him the 2001 Ian Charleson Award for Best Performance by an Actor Under 30 in a Classical Play.

Thereafter, he launched his international film career with parts in the sci-fi adventure A Sound of Thunder (2005) and the Idi Amin biopic The Last King of Scotland (2006), which starred Forest Whitaker, Kerry Washington, and James McAvoy. Oyelowo also co-wrote the BBC movie Graham and Alice (2006) and portrayed Orlando de Boys in Kenneth Branagh’s HBO production, As You Like It (2007). In 2006, he made his directorial debut on The White Devil, produced by his theatre company, Inservice. Oyelowo’s versatility is evident in the rich assortment of big and small screen projects he has been involved with over the years. He played a passionate academic in the 2008 U.S. TV production of A Raisin in the Sun and had a lead role with Naomie Harris in the 2009 British TV adaptation of the novel Small Island. He shone in his role as a demanding, rigid executive in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), and later portrayed a Tuskegee pilot in Red Tails (2012). Other projects include The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (2009), The Help (2011), Jack Reacher (2012) and the award-winning Lincoln (2012). In 2013, Oyelowo was prominently featured in The Butler, depicting the activist son of Cecil and Gloria Gaines, portrayed by Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey respectively. Oyelowo was reunited with director Lee Daniels for the film, the two having worked previously together on Paperboy (2012). Oyelowo also co-starred in the 2012 independent drama Middle of Nowhere, which Ava DuVernay directed. He and DuVernay worked together again for her next film, the riveting drama Selma (2014), in which Oyelowo portrays Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., earning a Golden Globe nomination for the role.

In 2015, Oyelowo received a second Golden Globe nomination, as well as Emmy consideration for his portrayal of a psychologically troubled war veteran in the HBO film Nightingale. He is also slated to star with Lupita Nyong’o in Americanah, a film to be adapted from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel. The story follows a pair of young Nigerian immigrants who face a lifetime of struggle while their relationship endures. In 2016, he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to drama.

 

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