As the actor David Oyelowo performed in films including “Selma” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” he found a new passion: directing.
Oyelowo was influenced by various nuances of the craft learned by distinguished directors such as Daniels, Ava DuVernay, and Will Gluck. After the good actions of his friends, Nate Parker in “The Birth of a Nation” and Joel Edgerton in “The Gift,” his passion for acting and directing in the same film grew greater.
Oyelowo has picked their brains for years to be brave enough to take a gamble. As a director, the actor’s debut, “The Water Man,” arrives on Friday in theatres.
The film was made by Harpo Films and was managed by Oprah Winfrey.
Oyelowo said he learned from DuVernay about having a grasp on the theme of the film.
“I’ve sort of had my own film school through working with several great directors,” stated David, who stars in the film with Rosario.
THE WATER MAN has a lot of promise, including a great young star in Lonnie Chavis, even if it never fully finds its footing. Well directed and heartfelt, this is a surprisingly grounded family film about hope, loss, and a little bit of magic.
Slight, but charming overall. pic.twitter.com/9JmEY7YC9S
— Daniel Howat (@howatdk) May 3, 2021
“(Directing) came as a byproduct of my acting career. I wanted to direct because I’ve been around some of the best people in the world.”
“The Water Man” tells the tale of Gunner, an optimistic boy who tries to rescue his grievously sick mum, played by Dawson. The child and his buddy went to a distant forest to find a mythical being, which Gunner claims hold the key to eternal existence.
David Oyelowo said he was attracted to this script because the plot reminded him of his favorite fantasy movies like “The Goonies” and “Gremlins” in the ’80s.
“It’s the power of sacrificial love,” said Oyelowo.
“You have this kid who is prepared to risk everything to save his mother. You have this father who is prepared to save his son. You see a family who is imperfect, but they have a love that I think is pretty much perfect. They define sacrificial love. She’s ill, but she doesn’t think about herself. She’s thinking about the relationship between her son and husband.”
Oyelowo said if he can play in his busy acting job, he wishes to direct more works. He tends to combine fact with imagination, but he still loves to share African tales.
“I think there are just some incredible stories that are not sequels or remakes,” Oyelowo stated. “In some ways, they’ve slept on Africa as a producer of great stories and great content. I really want to be a part of seeing those kinds of stories in a global presence.”