VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: David Oyelowo On ‘Don’t Let Go,’ Storm Reid
David Oyelowo, the 43-year-old Nigerian-British actor — best known for his roles in the films Selma, The Butler and A United Kingdom — spoke to uInterview exclusively about his new movie, Don’t Let Go, which deals with traveling back in time to stop a crime before it occurs.
“I play Jack Radcliff in the film, he’s a detective from South-central Los Angeles,” said Oyelowo. “He has this really tender relationship with his niece Ashley, as played by Storm Reid.“
“Just as we’re getting to how close these two are, [Ashley] is murdered tragically along with her father and her mother, my family is effectively wiped out.”
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Oyelowo went on to explain how his character is still in the grieving process when he receives a phone call from his niece two weeks before her murder, something that prompts him to try to prevent her homicide.
The actor also confessed it is often difficult to convey a sense of logic and realism in a sci-fi film, and said he believes the audience in most of these cases is asked to take a “massive leap” of faith into “the unbelievable.” However, Oyelowo added, he believes the audience for Don’t Let Go will likely be able to relate to his character in terms of his confusion and inability to understand what is reality and what is fiction and how time affects that dichotomy.
“With this, my character is very much with the audience in terms of going, ‘Huh? What? What do you mean I’m getting a phone call from two weeks in the past?'” he said. “‘Am I going mad? Is this PTSD?’ And so all of this grounds the film in a kind of reality in a sense, which is always something I’m looking for with the characters I get to play.”
Oyelowo also praised Reid, a young actress who broke out in 2018 with her starring role in A Wrinkle In Time.
“It was a real pleasure to work with [Reid],” he said. “She’s a phenomenal talent, as people will really get to see in this film.”
Oyelowo noted that one of the most challenging aspects of the film was portraying the emotional closeness between his and Reid’s characters despite them not being physically together for many scenes. The actor said he and Reid strived to support each other on set as a way to make the journey their characters embark on in finding their way back to each other more credible.
“We knew that the film lives or dies by virtue of how much the audience is invested in the closeness of our relationship,” said Oyelowo. “So we made sure that we were always on set for each other even when the other [person] wasn’t on screen just to keep on cultivating that relationship and hopefully making it feel believable for the audience.”
Don’t Let Go was written and directed by Jacob Aaron Estes and also stars Alfred Molina, Mykelti Williamson and Brian Tyree Henry.
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