SELMA is without a doubt, the most emotionally challenging and thought provoking films of 2014. I had the honor of being amongst the first in the world to screen the film and speak with the cast and I couldn’t be more proud of the actors, writers and their fearless leader, director Ava DuVernay. It has already garner several awards and a Golden Globe nomination, so it will be no surprise when the Oscar’s come calling. I spoke to Ava and her spellbinding leading actor, David Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King Jr. about their journey, what the film means to them, what they learned during the filming process that they did not know about the Civil Rights Movement and how David channeled Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently.
Here are a few highlights below:
What did this film mean to you?
“Oh gosh! To have the opportunity to tell the story is larger than anything I ever thought I’d do. I was really committed to telling small stories about the inner lives of black people, which I think is important work and we continue to do that in this film. But, there’s this other layer that’s the historical aspect that I never dreamed I’d be doing. And so, it’s a film, my father’s a native of Montgomery, Alabama. He lives there right now, my mother, my sisters and my brothers, everyone lives in Montgomery, Alabama. So, this is also a hometown story for me, for my family, so it means a lot.”
If you could have a conversation with Martin Luther King Jr. during that time, what would you say to him?
“It’s a funny thing you say that, because I truly feel like I had a conversation with him everyday, during the film. That’s the only way I could shelve myself, and inhabit him, I guess. I tried to keep myself spiritually available to every challenge every spiritual attribute he had. His connection with God. What it is to be a father. I’m also a father of 4 children. So, there was a lot of overlap, and I can only say that I truly feel like the only way for me to do this was to feel a connection with him, sort of a spiritual conversation.”
SELMA hits theaters nationwide on Friday, January 9th. Please support this historical film.
Watch the interview below: