David Oyelowo understands the pressures that come with starring in adored productions and Masterpiece’s adaptation of “Les Misérables” is no different.
“There’s always pressure when there’s something that people have a very strong opinion about because ‘Les Mis’ as a novel, as a musical, as a film, it’s sort of beloved there’s always pressure,” the 43-year-old actor recently told Page Six.
Oyelowo, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in 2014’s “Selma,” added that while the feeling doesn’t change, he’s adapted to it over time.
“I’ve just learned that you’re not going to please everyone no matter what you do,” Oyelowo said, adding you “just do the best job you can.”
Currently starring as Javert in the six-part miniseries of “Les Misérables,” Oyelowo hopes audiences will embrace this reimagining of Victor Hugo’s classic novel, seven years after the 2012 film first hit theaters.
“What I really loved about the limited series when I read it was that Javert was given so much more context, and that’s because you now have six hours and it’s not a musical, and it’s based very directly on the source material of Victor Hugo’s novel,” Oyelowo said.
The project also gave Oyelowo the opportunity to work alongside actors he has respected, including Dominic West, who plays Jean Valjean.
“That was a truly special thing for me, Dominic I’ve admired as an actor for a long time,” Oyelowo explained. “I just felt like he really stepped up to play this heroic figure and the level of which he plays his character really enabled me to go deep with Javert as well.
“Acting is like a game of tennis, you’re only as good as you’re opponent and he was really, really phenomenal in this role,” he continued.
Oyelowo isn’t all work and no play, however. As the UK native told us, he likes to unwind by spending quality time with his family, particularly in tropical locales like Hawaii.
“I love, love, love living in LA, but you know, there’s a certain go-go-go spirit to LA which is good to get away from, and we try to turn the phones off and just enjoy and reconnect with each other,” he said.
“Les Misérables” is currently streaming on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Channel on Amazon and on Apple TV Channels.
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