But he also can bring a decided depth and vitality to other roles, like Matt Wellings, a suburban London husband whose pretty blond wife, Leanne, and their two small children suddenly go missing in the HBO miniseries "Five Days."
Perhaps that's because of what Oyelowo has in common with the character. "I'm married to a lovely white lady and I have two beautiful mixed-race children," says Oyelowo. "So as I read this thing, what hit me was the fact that this could be me! It actually made me quite nervous to keep on reading because it felt very real."
Directed by Otto Bathurst and 블랙 잭 무료 게임
Simon Curtis, this joint venture between the BBC and HBO is as palpable as any ripped-from-the-tabloids docudrama, heightened by its cinema verite look.
>And there are notable similarities with the widely publicized search for 4-year-old Madeleine McCann: suburban British family, missing toddler, suspected parent, media glare.
>Premiering 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, the five-night miniseries ignites on a summer morning when Leanne and the children, on their way to visit her grandfather, stop by the side of the road to buy flowers. She suddenly vanishes, leaving her young son and daughter lost and wandering.
>Then over four random days in the nearly three-month investigation, Gwyneth Hughes' absorbing script unfolds as a procession of players revolve around Wellings, who becomes a media personality and is suspected by the police and his in-laws.
>"There's a scene where I've just sat at the table and my mother-in-law is buzzing around me and the police are in there, and he's just still," says Oyelowo, 31, sipping a glass of orange juice at a Sunset Strip eatery.
>During the conversation, he recalls that the son of a friend in London went missing just six months before shooting for the film began. The boy still has not been found.
>"I spoke to her just before the show was to air in the U.K., and she said that scene is what it's like -- the world is whizzing around you and you cannot move forward with your life," he says.
>The film is less of a whodunit, than it is "about the fragility of life," Oyelowo says. "I think people are going to be fascinated to see a very true depiction of what it's like behind the scenes."
>Born in Oxford, England, of Nigerian decent, Oyelowo attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and in 1999 was offered a season with the Royal Shakespeare Company where he later performed as Henry VI.
>The actor, who will star in ABC's adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's play
"A Raisin in the Sun," just moved to L.A. with his family. "I feel like if you want to do this thing on the world's stage, you have to make an impression here."
>His "The Last King of Scotland" performance as the Ugandan physician who offers his help, and ultimately his life, to Idi Amin's fabled Scottish doctor is what caught the attention of "Raisin" director Kenny Leon.
>"The whole death scene, and his heart in that last moment registered with me," says Leon, who cast him opposite Sanaa Lathan as her charismatic Nigerian beau Asagai. "I knew I was going to get a good actor. But after I worked with him, I didn't know he was that great of an actor."
>Branagh, however, already had a clue when he auditioned him for "As You Like It."
>Upon arriving at the session, Branagh recalls Oyelowo "handed me an envelope and said, 'I've just been working with Judi Dench,' who is a great friend of mine, 'and she asked me to give you this.' We did the audition and David left, I knew I was going to give him the job. But then I opened this note from Judi and there were two words, 'Cast Him!' ... She's never done that before. Never."By Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn