10 Things to Know About David Oyelowo

The British thespian is Hollywood's next big thing.

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Hollywood's Latest Import - Oscar, schmoscar. Even without the nomination, David Oyelowo delivered one of the most talked-about performances of the year as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma. The British actor is quickly becoming one of the most renowned and respected actors working today, with roles in big blockbusters like Rise of the Planet of the Apes and acclaimed indie fare like A Most Violent Year. Here are ten things you need to know about Oyelowo. (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

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Born in England, But Lived in Nigeria - Born in Oxford and raised in South London, Oyelowo moved with his parents at the age of six to Nigeria. After seven years, the family fled the country when it was under military rule and moved back to London.(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

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Royalty - In Nigeria, Oyelowo discovered that his father, who worked for British Airways in England, came from royal lineage.  (Photo: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

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Big Crush - The road to Selma started with school-age puppy love. Oyelowo joined a drama group as a teenager because he had a crush on his pastor’s daughter, who invited him to join. (Photo: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

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Family Man - Oyelowo is married to fellow actor Jessica Oyelowo. They have four children, aged between two and twelve.  (Photo: Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images)

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No Labels - Though Oyelowo delivered the performance of his career as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he told his agent to find him scripts intended for white actors. “I had read that Denzel Washington had told his agent early on: ‘Give me everything that Harrison Ford is turning down.’ That stuck with me,” he said.   (Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)

Down With G-O-D - Oyelowo is a devout Christian and often turns to God for career guidance. "It turns out God has really great taste," he said. "When I pray to him about which roles I should do, it’s a great guide. When I first read Selma, he told me I was going to play that part. And having been told by him that it was going to happen, I knew it would.”  (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

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Down With G-O-D - Oyelowo is a devout Christian and often turns to God for career guidance. "It turns out God has really great taste," he said. "When I pray to him about which roles I should do, it’s a great guide. When I first read Selma, he told me I was going to play that part. And having been told by him that it was going to happen, I knew it would.” (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

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Director's Favorite - Oyelowo has worked in multiple films for Ava DuVernay and Lee Daniels. He starred in DuVernay's Sundance hit Middle of Nowhere before reteaming with her for Selma, and acted in Daniels' Paperboy and The Butler. (Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

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Selma to Ava DuVernay - Oyelowo was attached to star as Dr. King in Selma when Daniels was supposed to direct the film. When the Empire creator left the project to focus on The Butler, he suggested DuVernay for the job. Oyelowo also brought his Butler co-star Oprah Winfrey to the table to executive produce.  (Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)

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Groundbreaking Theater Actor - The classically trained theater actor was the first Black actor to play a Shakespearean king (Henry VI) for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Although this casting choice was initially criticized by some in the British media, Oyelowo's performance was critically acclaimed and later won the 2001 Ian Charleson Award for best performance by an actor under 30 in a classical play. (Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

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Back to Nigeria - Oyelowo is slated to star with Lupita Nyong'o in Americanah, an adaptation of the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which Nyong'o will also produce. The story follows a pair of young Nigerian immigrants who face a lifetime of struggle while their relationship endures.  (Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)