'Nightingale' Star David Oyelowo: "Confidence Is Born Out of Taking Risks"

"When I first read the script, I just thought, 'This simply can’t be done.'"

David Oyelowo stars in the HBO film Nightingale, a psychological drama which, the actor says, "was not necessarily made with television in mind."

"When I first read the script, I just thought, 'This simply can’t be done,'" he explained during The Hollywood Reporter’s Television Drama Actor Roundtable.

The highly original piece involves "one person, in a house, for 90 minutes, having committed this heinous act, unraveling, talking to himself, essentially," and is quite reminiscent of a theater piece, making the choice of doing Nightingale quite a risk. "Half of what enables you to take risks and I think be good actor is confidence. And confidence is born out of taking risks. And this was a risk."

Luckily for Oyelowo, HBO has picked up the piece and given it a home. "It’s incredibly encouraging that not only is a company like HBO prepared to jump on board this film, but that they know there’s an audience out there for it."

The Selma star called the MLK biopic a pivotal moment in his career. "Just being cast as Martin Luther King [Jr.] in the film Selma had such a dramatic effect on my career, on the basis of nothing other than a Hollywood Reporter announcement," saying that the announcement alone was enough for opportunities in studio films (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Help) to start rolling in.

The actor sat down with Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Jon Voight (Ray Donovan), Justin Theroux (The Leftovers), Timothy Hutton (American Crime) and Clive Owen (The Knick) for the Roundtable, where some the year's hottest television actors discussed their current roles and dramatic process.

The full Drama Actor Roundtable aired on Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, Aug. 9, at 11 a.m. EST on Sundance TV. Tune in this Sunday for the next episode.

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