When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. biopic "Selma" hit theaters on Christmas in 2014, its studio Paramount Pictures announced that it would be screened free for nearly 300,000 middle and high school students. Over a year later, the Ava DuVernay-directed film continues to educate audiences, this time with its leading man David Oyelowo in tow at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival.
"Am I in this movie?" he asked amid applause and exclamations from the crowd. "As you can tell, I don't sound like anything you saw in the movie."
How did it make you feel playing King?
Any words of advice for young people about being politically active?
Did the role change you?
How did you go about mastering your accent?
People often ask me that because I'm English, but I would argue that even if you were American and you were going to play Dr. King, it's a tall order. I mean, he spoke funny. [laughs] It wasn't even just an Atlanta accent, but it had the Southern Baptist preacher element, some Boston sounds and he used big words all the time. And he had this rhythm in his speeches. So anyone would have to study that accent. But, the amount of time it took to do the film helped. I killed myself to get it right.