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A Minute With: David Oyelowo and 'The Water Man' cast

GlobalMay 06, 2021 16:00
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By Alicia Powell
NEW YORK, May 6 (Reuters) - British-Nigerian actor David
Oyelowo makes his feature film directorial debut with "The Water
Man", a family drama about a young boy who heads off in search
of a legendary figure with magical powers to heal his sick
Oyelowo, known for appearing in historical dramas like
"Selma" and "A United Kingdom", also acts in the movie, playing
the father of the young protagonist Gunner.
After the family move to a rural town, Gunner, played by
Lonnie Chavis, befriends a local girl who tells him of the
mysterious "Water Man", said to live in the woods and the two
set off to find him.
Oyelowo, Chavis and Rosario Dawson, who plays Gunner's
mother, spoke to Reuters about the film.
Below are excerpts edited for clarity and length.

Q: What was it like to direct your first film?
Oyelowo: "My respect for the difficulty definitely went
through the roof because of the sheer amount of plates you need
to keep spinning. And where my respect quotient really went up
is actors who decide to direct things that they are also in.
That is a real rub your stomach, pat your head kind of crazy
thing to embark on."

Q: Was directing a goal?
Oyelowo: "People have said to me 'we're surprised this is
your first film', and I guess I'm known for more ... historical
dramas ... and maybe ... I've gravitated towards that first
because there's a reason I tend to do a lot of those films.
"But this is the kind of film I loved growing up ... I'm so
glad I got to do something that people seem to be surprised I

Q: What is the film's message?
Chavis: "There's a lot of love, there's family ... there's
friendship, there's hope ... But what I hope people will take
away is to not take time for granted."
Dawson: "It's our most precious resource ... There's so many
terrible phrases in our cultural vernacular, 'killing time' and
even just saying things like 'I'm bored' ... well I'm so sorry
to hear you're so boring because it is such a gift to be here
and to have each other.
"It's terrible that something as devastating as this
pandemic had to hit maybe for a lot of people to get that. But
you see that even with this family in this story sometimes
tragedy hits and it helps you to prioritize what's actually
important in your life."

A Minute With: David Oyelowo and 'The Water Man' cast

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