'Off the Cuff' Podcast: Omar Dorsey on 'Selma' Being Released at "Important Time"

Omar J. Dorsey - H 2014
AP Images

Omar J. Dorsey - H 2014

The actor talks to #pretapodcasts about the recent Eric Garner decision, working with "The Big O" (as in Oprah) in his new civil rights drama, and why Quentin Tarantino "thinks he's black"

Omar Dorsey joined Off the Cuff the day after it was announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner, an unarmed black man in Staten Island, this past July. We couldn't help but discuss the timing of Dorsey's new film Selma, the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic march from Selma to Montgomery, in this current moment of heightened racial tension in which Americans once again find themselves.

"This film is coming out at an important time," Dorsey says. "Sometimes a time dictates what a film will be. Sometimes a film dictates what the time will be. This is something that's coming together." Though reticent to take too much attention away from the movie, he couldn't help but admit, "That Eric Garner thing really got to me yesterday. I'm not even going to lie to you."

But Dorsey certainly had plenty to say about Selma too, from shopping at "a wig shop on Crenshaw Boulevard" for his audition to spending time in hair and makeup with Oprah ("She started calling me 'Big O' and I was calling her 'Little O'") to the way director Ava DuVernay made the monotonous act of marching "look like it's Friday Night Lights."

And of course we had to ask him what it was like to work with Quentin Tarantino in 2012's Django Unchained, in which he played a slave turned Mandingo fighter.

"He thinks he's black. You know that, right?" Dorsey quips about the man he also calls "a mad genius."

"He thinks he's Soul Brother Number One. He thinks he's Sam Jackson."

Listen to Dorsey's full interview in this episode of Off the Cuff, and be sure to subscribe to #pretapodcasts on iTunes for all the latest episodes.