It may appear that 96 Minutes star David Oyelowo is new on the scene.  However, the British-Nigerian actor has been on his grind for quite some time [14 years to be exact] appearing in such films as The Last King of Scotland, The Help and most recently Red Tails.

Although Hollywood is just taking notice, he credits his recent success to making the right film choices and being a versatile actor.  Oyelowo recently sat down with to discuss his latest film projects including Lee Daniel’s The Butler and why he is not afraid of starring in unconventional movies.

On his recent success…

It feels like a marathon to me but I’ve chosen that path. I turned down a lot of easier opportunities in order to go for the things that I really and ultimately wanted to do. And what’s really nice is that it’s starting to work. I’ve been an actor for coming up on 14 years now and the level of activity that’s taking place now is a culmination of a slow cooker approach to [a career] as opposed to a microwave.

On collaborating with Lee Daniels for The Butler

We start [shooting] The Butler in June and that’s incredibly exciting for me because I get to work with the amazing Forest Whitaker again. It’s a phenomenal script and a great, great role — I play his son. Oprah Winfrey is his wife and my mother. My character is a radical, civil rights activist. I rebel against the profession his father has chosen — a butler who works in the White House from [President Dwight] Eisenhower to [Ronald] Reagan. I become a civil rights leader who’s involved in marches with [Martin Luther] King, moves onto Malcolm X and I become a Black Panther.

On not straying away from “controversial” movies…

We can’t afford to deny our past in a bid to be empowered. But what we can do is contextualize the past. The problem with us and the stories we’re trying to tell is that we get so few opportunities to tell them that the danger comes when we try to cram everything in. The Help sheds light on a certain truth in America, but the tragedy is if we don’t get a chance to contrast it with other points of views. The Butler does that, Red Tails does that and that’s what 96 Minutes does.

Catch David Oyelowo in 96 Minutes when the film opens in theaters April 27