The Water Man , that is out in theaters on, may 7, is acclaimed actor David Oyelowo’s first feature film as a director. Oyelowo starred in the grouped family adventure drama alongside Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, and Amiah Miller.
The film follows a boy named Gunner (Chavis), who sets from a quest to save lots of his ill mother (Dawson) by looking for a mythic figure called the Water Man that’s said to contain the secret to immortality. After enlisting the aid of a mysterious local girl, Jo (Miller), they journey in to the remote Wild Horse forest together. However, the deeper they venture, the stranger and much more dangerous the forest becomes. Their only expect rescue is Gunner’s father (Oyelowo), who’ll visit nothing to get them and along the way shall discover who his son is really.
Have a look at our David Oyelowo interview to understand about how exactly Oprah Winfrey helped the film, why it had been an individual project for Oyelowo, plus much more.
Tyler Treese: You previously said that you didn’t genuinely have grand aspirations to direct a film next, nevertheless, you wished to see this enter into existence so much that you finished up, you know, entering that unfamiliar territory, what resulted in that attachment with the screenplay to where you merely had a need to direct it?
David Oyelowo: It had been the truth that I had loved films of the nature growing up and discover myself scratching my head as to the reasons we weren’t making them anymore. Why were forget about E there.T. s and The Goonies , THE STAND BY POSITION Me , Gremlins , Willow , and The Neverending Story ? You understand, the simple truth is they’re had by us, but they’re only being created by Pixar. You understand, I’d say Up and The Incredibles and today Soul , you understand, there are several that have a small amount of that tone whereby you have both magic and meaning, fantasy and reality. You have heavier themes, however they can somehow be palatable to small children and relatable to grownups aswell then. But we just weren’t making them in a manner that I type of had enough of these showing my kids without having to get back to the 80s to sort of show my kids these types of movies. Initially, I pursued this project for all those good reasons, so when a producer so when an actor primarily. It wasn’t until we lost our director a couple of years in to the development of the project that the writer considered me and said, “David, You’re thought by me ought to be the someone to direct it. ” I was so passionate about any of it and seeing a few of this nature just, um, out in the global world that I made a decision to jump in the director’s seat.
What sort of unexpected difficulties did you face as a first-time director performing a feature film? Achieved it go easier than expected or were any shocking things there? I imagine there are several challenges that include starring in a film also directing it.
Yeah. You can find very real challenges and one that I was most nervous about was whether I’d be so distracted with the rest. A director must be aware that my performance might become among the weakest reasons for having the movie. I’ve spent plenty of my career intentionally watching a few of these great directors I’ve had the privilege of dealing with. [Seeing what] they been doing what they achieve this brilliantly, plus they have type of been my film school in a genuine way.
So there have been definitely times in the center of directing as well as prepping to direct The Water Man where I actually realized I knew a lot more than I thought I did so, but also there have been occasions when I had to essentially lean on the expertise of the brilliant crew I had built around me to type of help me through my weaker spots. Those spots that maybe I hadn’t had just as much insight into. The Water Man is in fact the sixth film I produced, but I haven’t necessarily really dug into VFX myself with regards to steps to make them work with a movie. You understand, I haven’t necessarily experienced all the minutiae of a post-production process before. So, you understand, these are a few of the plain things I had to type of learn in real-time.
Your performance is excellent in the film. What I liked about any of it was your character is he’s and real nothing like this cookie-cutter perfect father. He’s got his faults and the scenario he’s in, he’s got so much stress and there’s a disconnect along with his child since they don’t share exactly the same interests. Some flaws have emerged by you, but he’s got this type of good heart and he’s ready to do whatever for his child. Were you in a position to draw from your experience as a paternalfather for that role?
Yeah, absolutely. After all, that’s why I needed to accomplish it. I could identify not the daddy role because I’m now a dad just, but I also identified with Gunner really. As a kid who growing up would’ve done anything for my parents due to how much I really like them and due to just how much they love me. I believe that the central theme of the film also, which in lots of ways is sacrificial love, and since acted out and embodied by this 11-year-old, is I believe human being’s greatest attributes. I loved since through the eyes of an 11-year-old just. I believe it’s a genuine type of hero’s journey for him, and that’s a thing that I believe is aspirational. I believe to see this family where love may be the driving force for them overcoming a few of these obstacles can be inspirational.
You have this incredible young cast in the film. Is it possible to speak to dealing with Lonnie Amiah and Chavis Miller and the partnership you’d on set?
Discuss finding not only one, but two needles in a haystack. After all, such brilliant young performers who made me look good really. I would want to take credit for the totality of these performances, however, many of what they do in this movie and stuff you can’t teach just. A known degree of emotional intelligence, an even of type of high IQ with regards to coping with a trickier theme than an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old should so adeptly have the ability to handle. They’re both in a position to be kids, that are age-appropriate within their performances absolutely, but they can also entertain themes you could argue tend to be more grown-up. We have been looking for that in these kids because we will be oscillating between how they’re suffering from these tougher things in the film and the way the grown-ups in the form of myself and Rosario Dawson, because the parents coping with those things aswell together. So, I was beyond impressed by both Linnie and Amiah just.
Oprah Winfrey, who you’ve previously caused, executive produced this. Is it possible to discuss how she had become mixed up in project?
She and I met through the Butler. We did Selma together aswell obviously. That was among the first times where she came on by the project largely to get me. That is a big section of our friendship of our relationship wonderfully. She’s sort of a mother figure if you ask me, as well. I visited her with this particular saying it had been a thing that i was very passionate about just. I wanted to accomplish, and she just wished to support me in virtually any and every real way she could. One of the biggest contributions she made, obviously lending her company Harpo Films to the film and her wonderful executive in the form of Carla Gardini. But she has also, my goodness, i’m wanted by one to discuss a individual who is aware of the human condition. That’s an excellent couple of eyes to possess on a film of the nature, particularly when you have early cuts that you’re hoping to obtain feedback on, and she does that. She’s useful from that time of view incredibly.
The Water Man spends a whole large amount of time discussing death and attempting to fight that inevitability, but by the ultimate end, it’s a really film about celebrating life. What can you hope viewers take as a result away?
Exactly that. I believe to celebrate life than bemoan how finite it is extremely. In this film, we visit a kid who’s desperately attempting to reverse time and reverse exactly what is a very hard impending loss for him. It’s understandable completely, of your day but by the end, the truth is, and today we realize in the wake of the pandemic especially, tomorrow we have been not promised. We don’t know very well what the near future holds. Therefore, the thing to essentially spend our hard work doing is loving those we love and loving them hard, and being present using them. Not taking them for granted because there’s so a lot of things we can’t control, but mostly of the things we are able to is loving those people who are right there around while they’re around.