Each awards season brings us glitz, glamour, silverware and – without fail – a name impossible tricky to pronounce. In 2013 it was Quvenzhané Wallis, in 2014 commentators were stuttering over Chiwetel Ejiofor, and this year? It’s David Oyelowo, British actor and star of Martin Luther King drama Selma.
It’s an affliction shared by the likes of Saoirse Ronan and Zooey Deschanel, but if poor David is fed up with fans, citation readers and critics muddling up his surname, he’s in luck. For Brad Pitt – Hollywood movie star and one of Selma’s producers – has stepped in to deliver the definitive lesson in how to pronounce “Oyelowo”. And he chose a pretty high profile occasion to do so.
Taking the stage at last night’s Palm Springs Film Festival, Pitt decided it was high time we got our heads around Oyelowo’s name, especially considering he was about to head up to the podium to accept the breakthrough performance award.
“I know that there is one lingering question in the back of your minds,” Pitt informed the audience. “It’s a fundamental question. I think it’s only fair that we air it out tonight. And that question is: how the hell do you pronounce his name?”
After proceeding to spell it out slowly, he added, “In situations like this I’ve found it sometimes helps to sing it,” before embarking upon a musical rendition.
“You know you’ve broken through when Brad Pitt sings your name,” Oyelowo joked afterwards as he accepted his award.
Needless to say, it’s a must-watch. So, here you go…