Ever since he portrayed Martin Luther King Jr in the acclaimed film Selma, David Oyelowo has been hot property in Hollywood.
The 42-year-old Golden Globe nominee, whose name is being thrown around to play the first black James Bond, is in Australia promoting TV miniseries Les Miserables, as well as shooting Peter Rabbit 2.
His wife of 20 years, fellow actor Jessica Oyelowo, is right by his side.
In fact, that’s the pact they’ve shared for their entire marriage. They never spend more than two weeks apart.
“My wife and I have a two-week rule. We’re never apart for more than two weeks, and we’ve managed that for 20 years,” Oyelowo told news.com.au.
“So that means a lot of travel. Thankfully, it’s something we really enjoy.”
The pair, who have four children together, have been based in LA, via Britain, for the past 12 years. But Australia could be their next home if Jess gets her way.
The couple have been staying in Sydney for the last two weeks.
“Jess loved being here in Sydney, a bit more than I would have liked actually,” Oyelowo said.
“I think she wants to move here. We’ve been in LA for a while and we’re only just settling in.
“We’ve done all the touristy things like the zoo and the Opera House, I’ll tell you what, we really struggle to get a bad meal here in Sydney.
“Every restaurant I’ve been to here has had great, great, great food.
“It’s a beautiful city, we’ve had a phenomenal time.”
His latest passion project has been playing Javert in the six part mini series of BBC First’s Les Miserables, which has — get this — no singing, and is currently streaming on Foxtel.
“I read the six episodes of Les Miserables and it was as good as anything I was reading and seeing coming out of the world of film,” he said.
“I loved the opportunity to play this iconic role of Javert and not being a musical, it allowed me to bring real context and dimension to him.
“This show really transcended my expectations. Everyone came to it with the right spirit.”
The show, starring Dominic West, Lily Collins and Oscar winner Olivia Colman, follows the successful 2012 movie, in which Javert was played by Russell Crowe.
Being chosen for a role that is traditionally known as a white person is something that is not lost on Oyelowo.
“What has been really gratifying for me is that it’s been less about that and more about people loving the show,” he said.
“I know that it’s not necessarily the norm for me to get to play this kind of role, but I would love to see that normalised.
“The fact that a person of colour is playing a prominent role in a period drama shouldn’t be news.
“People of colour were very present in European life at this time but we’ve done a bad job of representing that in television and film.”
As for changing that narrative, Oyelowo believes the entertainment industry is on the right track. Especially given for the first time, fans are starting the conversation to get a black man to play James Bond, with Daniel Craig set to step down after Bond 25, to be released in 2020.
“I’m not in a hurry to play that role, I’m less interested in that and way more interested that roles like that are now being demanded by the audience,” he said.
“The audience themselves are saying, ‘We want to see not just a certain demographic person reflected in these kind of heroic or prominent roles’.
“That is something I’m definitely glad to see and be a part of.
“The whole Bond thing became a poster child for that conversation.”
Oyelowo has joined Australian actor Rose Byrne, James Corden and Domhnall Gleeson for the sequel of the 2018 family hit Peter Rabbit, and though he couldn’t tell us much about who he plays, it pretty much sounds like he’s the bad guy.
“The plot is very much under wraps but one thing I can say to you is, I apologise in advance for what I do with the rabbit,” he said.
“But I can also tell you there’s a lot more action and it’s incredibly funny. I have been having so much fun.”