David Oyelowo on superhero roles: 'I tread with caution around those kinds of characters'

The Selma actor says it could become tougher for audiences to believe him in other roles

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The Independent Online

David Oyelowo has said he treads “with caution” around the possibility of taking on super hero roles, as “it could become tougher for audiences to believe you in other roles”.

The actor, who played Martin Luther King Jr in Selma, told The Wrap that his stance on super-hero roles was due to the danger of being identified with a character that is larger than life.

“For me personally, I tread with caution around the notion of [superhero] characters.


“Depending on which one of them you’re playing, there’s always a danger you’re going to get so identified with this larger than life character, that it could become tougher for audiences to believe you in other roles,” he told the publication.

Oyelowo referenced the opportunity to play Dr King, which he called a “blessing”, but said that he doesn’t want to be solely recognised as having played the civil rights leader.

“So yes, I don’t know that I’m going to be in a hurry to play a superhero for those reasons,” he said.

Oyelowo missed out on an Oscar nomination for portrayal of Dr King, but he presented an award at the ceremony.

The Academy Awards faced widespread criticism this year after the all-white list of nominations that appeared to snub Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay, who directed Selma.

The Selma actor said last year that it is a “shaming indictment” that the UK’s representation of black actors in its creative industries is worse than post-apartheid South Africa.