David Oyelowo on ‘Gringo’, ‘Chaos Walking’ and Playing Inspector Javert on TV’s ‘Les Miserables’

     March 9, 2018

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With Amazon Studios and STX Films dark comedy Gringo opening in theaters this weekend, I recently sat down with David Oyelowo for an exclusive video interview. During our wide-ranging conversation he talked about how the project came together, why the script reminded him of Sideways and Midnight Run, how he based his character on his father, what it was like working with Sharlto Copley since he likes to always do something different in every take, and so much more. In addition, Oyelowo talked about working with Doug Liman on Chaos Walking and his unique style of directing (he shares a great story about Liman shooting his brother’s wedding) the version of Les Miserables they’re doing for TV where he plays Inspector Javert (he reveals it’s based on the original novel, is six one-hour episodes, and not a musical), making Only You for Blumhouse and working with Storm Reid, and more.

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Image via Amazon Studios

If you aren’t familiar with Gringo, directed by Nash Edgerton, the film is scripted by Anthony Tambakis and Matthew Stone and stars David Oyelowo as a mild-mannered American businessman facing crushing debt who ventures to Mexico to hand-deliver a formula for a revolutionary new weed pill. But along the way, he tangles with volatile business partners, Mexican drug lords, mercenaries, and the DEA, all while trying to keep his cool. Charlize Theron and Joel Edgerton co-star in the film as the heads of the business that is running the operation, and Theron absolutely delights in delivering filthy and politically incorrect dialogue with glee. Gringo also stars Amanda SeyfriedYul Vazquez, Thandie Newton, and Sharlto Copley.

Check out what David Oyelowo had to say in the player above and a list of what we talked about below. Finally, Gringo is a blast and I’m giving it a strong recommendation.

David Oyelowo:

  • Talks about his experiences making movies where he thinks the film isn’t going to work but it does and times where it just doesn’t work on set.
  • How it’s so unusual to have the lead character be a Nigerian immigrant. Talks about why he wanted to play the character this way.
  • gringo-david-oyelowo-charlie-theron-joel-edgerton

    Image via Amazon Studios

    Talks about a dinner meeting with Nash Edgerton to talk about the role and how they closed the place down.

  • What was it about the script that made him want to be part of the project?
  • Is he able to shut off the character he’s playing when he leaves set or is a part of it always with him during production?
  • How the character he plays in Gringo is inspired by his father and he doesn’t yet know.
  • What was it like working with Sharlto Copley since he likes to always do something different in every take?
  • Talks about filming a great scene on the beach without much time to get it done.
  • How many takes does he like to do?
  • What’s the most takes he’s ever done for a movie?
  • Talks about memorable moments from filming Gringo.
  • Talks about the version of Les Miserables they’re doing for TV where he plays Inspector Javert. Talks about how it’s based on the original novel, six one-hour episodes, and not a musical.
  • Talks about working with Doug Liman on Chaos Walking and his unique style of directing. Shares a great story about Liman shooting his brother’s wedding and how he made his brother redo walking down the aisle.
  • What was it about Chaos Walking that got him excited to be part of the project?
  • Talks about making Only You for Blumhouse and working with Storm Reid.
  • Says he just started filming Les Mis and he’ll be filming till July.

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