David Oyelowo talks to director ‘The Water Man’, the new Oscars standards and works with Nate Parker
David Oyelowo may not attend the Toronto International Film Festival for the most part where his new movie comes out – but he’s in Canada.
The star said he was quarantining from his family, along with “one of our dogs and even our parrot” in Vancouver while getting ready for the three-week COVID-19 tests. once to film the movie “Solitary” directed by Nate Parker. But it was a leap, skip and jump from Toronto, where his sci-fi adventure film “The Water Man”, in which he starred and debuted the director, is premiering at film festivals. and purchased for distribution.
Oprah Winfrey, who produced “Selma”, reunites with Oyelowo as executive producer of “The Water Man”, following in the footsteps of a boy named Gunner (“This Is Us” star Lonnie Chavis ), who went to the forest to save his sick mother (Rosario Dawson) as he searches for a legendary figure who holds the key of immortality.
Over the phone, Oyelowo talked about being behind the camera for the first time, how he met standards including the best shot of the new Academy Awards, and why he put his faith in Parker, who was caught up in it. the controversy when it came to the release of the movie “Birth of a Country. ”
Question: Hello from Los Angeles! What does a virtual festival look like to you?
David Oyelowo: That’s interesting. I just applaud (the festival) for going, “Look, storytelling is important. It won’t be what it used to be. But here’s what people want and need.” We all went through something very difficult and some temper and courtesy and arrogance were lost, and it was great to talk to everyone in a time when all was lost. we all have to give in to this situation.
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Q: Does that also mean interviews in PJs?
Oyelowo: I’ve stopped wearing my pajamas but it’s definitely less buttoned than usual in Toronto. I have not met a stylist for several months now. There is something not so bad about that.
Q: What makes you want to be the “Man of water”? It seems trendy to introduce a movie that explains the acceptance of loss to children.
Oyelowo: We made this film before the pandemic, before a time when we foresee that people will have to reflect on the potential illness or death of their loved ones and how we can be responsible. social and cultural responsibility to try to avoid that. But what always happens is if you truly love someone, you know that you have to do whatever you can to protect them then what love will be like. So seeing that through the eyes of this 11-year-old, I believe everyone can relate
Q: The movie also has Spielbergian vibes, but with a young black lead at the center of the story.
Oyelowo: The film pays homage to the kind of film I loved when I grew up, the kind of film Amblin (Steven Spielberg’s production company) Amblin was doing at that time. Those movies have a sense of adventure, but have some core meanings to them, “E.T.” is my favorite.
But I never found myself in those kinds of movies, and I wanted to make the kind of movies my younger version would love to see.
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Q: You have 4 children, 18, 15, 12 and 8. What is their reaction to “The Water Man” at home?
Oyelowo: That’s the thing that gives me the most headache, show my kids. Thankfully, Daddy did OK. They love the movie (and) they recognize themselves in the movie.
Q: How do you feel about the new Oscar standard for best picture in effect in 2024?
Oyelowo: Whatever the Academy or anyone in our industry can do to change the balance when it comes to stories that are considered “valuable” and “valuable” are important.
I personally welcome what the Academy is doing because it acknowledges that we all have suffered a broken system that values certain things over others because it is interlocked. Its DNA, it’s the system. These changes will only make people think twice about how they will be left out when telling stories.
Q: You are preparing to star in “Solitary”, about a man who escapes seven years of solitary confinement and is directed by Nate Parker. Four years ago, “Birth of a Nation” came to Toronto with Parker’s past sexual assault allegations and his reaction was considered by many to be deaf. What made you decide to work with him now?
Oyelowo: Nate is one of my best friends in the world and I have overcome those challenges with him. He made a lot of mistakes but I feel that the movie was strategically attacked. I think some of the things he did just spur those attacks. But in the four years since, I’ve watched him grow and his assertiveness has grown and his compassion has grown and his humanity has grown. I believe that everyone can overcome their mistakes and he should give the second chance.
I didn’t say for a second that he did what he was accused of, but I feel that he did not manage what happened to him well and he was indignant and not compassionate. And these are the conversations he and I have had for four years now and he’s a transformed human being. And that’s the version of Nate Parker that I’m working on and that’s the version of Nate Parker that the world is about to be reintroduced. I think he’s a genius. Many people who could have watched “Birth of a Nation” didn’t because the movie was compromised. But his new movie “American Skin” is really the most trendy movie I’ve seen in maybe three to five years and hopefully it will hit audiences soon.