Fans Of Selma May Recognise The Girl Before’s Edward

The classically trained actor has an impressive CV.

David Oyelowo attends a screening of "The Girl Before"
Joe Maher/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Acclaimed British actors Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo are to reunite on-screen for BBC One’s upcoming psychological thriller The Girl Before this December. The four-part series, adapted from the bestselling book by JP Delaney, sees Jane (played by Mbatha-Raw) move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house. But, like any good thriller, there’s a catch. In the series, Oyelowo plays enigmatic architect Edward. The classically trained actor is certainly no stranger to television but what more do we know about The Girl Before's Oyelowo?

Given the British-Nigerian actor’s long-standing career in Hollywood, you are most likely familiar with Oyelowo’s previous work: Spooks, A Wrinkle In Time, The Midnight Sky (opposite George Clooney), and even Jay Z and Beyonce’s music video for Family Feud. Originally from Oxford and having studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), the actor’s extremely lengthy CV also features a standout role in TV musical Les Miserables and, most notably, his portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King in Ava DuVernay's 2014 film Selma, based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches.

In another impressive feat, Oyelowo was one of the first Black thespians to play an English king in a Shakespeare play (the RSC’s production of Henry VI), and throughout his career often speaks about Black representation in TV and film, especially following Selma’s much publicised Oscar snub. Earlier this year, he told the Evening Standard, “I came to America and was able to prove that I could be a leading man. It was subtly said to me that the audience wasn’t ready for someone like me to take that role. I just knew that wasn’t true. And the only place I saw evidence of that not being true was in Hollywood.”

Outside of work, the 45-year-old actor’s personal life seems to be just as busy as his professional exploits. As he told the Evening Standard, “I have four children and four dogs, and they all are very hungry so I’ve got to stay busy.”

He added: “I love telling stories. I’m passionate about the impact and the effects storytelling has on society. I’m trying to do as much ‘good damage’ as I can!”

The next story Oyelowo is set to tell is The Girl Before alongside actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who he previously worked with on the film The Cloverfield Paradox in 2018.

Ahead of the series’ release, Oyelowo told the BBC, “This story is mind-bending in its clever construction and intricacy. I can’t wait to see it, let alone be in it. Plus, I’d go anywhere to work with my friend Gugu again.”