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8 Movies You Totally Forgot David Oyelowo Was In


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David Oyelowo has always been “that guy” in “that thing…I think.” The 38-year-old actor has been appearing in various films and TV series since the late ’90s, usually letting bigger stars like Matthew McConaughey, Forest Whitaker or James Franco pull focus. But thanks to his star-making role in the Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, Selma, Oyelowo soaked up the spotlight at the Independent Spirit Awards, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, BAFTAs and Oscars. But before all the accolades, Oyelowo was in more movies than you think. Here’s a few examples of where you might’ve seen him before:

8. The Paperboy

When most of us think of The Paperboy, we think of Nicole Kidman’s crazy performance, or how it was a stepping stone for Matthew McConaughey’s journey to turning his career around after all those rom-com nightmares. But Oyelowo gave a superb performance. If that one speech where he reveals to the young and naive Efron about what he let his big brother do behind closed doors didn’t leave you with your mouth ajar, you might wanna reevaluate your capacity to feel emotion.

7. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

There was a lot going on in the first prequel Planet of the Apes movie: Andy Serkis becoming Caesar through motion capture, the ape rebellion and James Franco. So it’s understandable that we all may or may not have forgotten that Oyelowo played the money-hungry company head. He wasn’t in there for too much time, but he was the one who inadvertently caused the calamitous events that would soon transpire because he refused to listen to wise counsel.

6. The Last King of Scotland

The Last King of Scotland is Forest Whitaker’s game. He won Best Actor at the Oscars for his performance as Uganda President Idi Amin, one of the world’s most savage figures. After Whitaker, the recognition goes to James McAvoy for playing Scottish Dr. Garrigan. But, yes, poking out between these talents is Oyelowo playing the small role of Dr. Junju.

5. As You Like It

Shakespeare is so rooted in classical acting training that anyone’s who’s anyone has been featured in a Shakespeare play in some capacity. But Oyelowo’s Orlando in the Kenneth Branagh-directed As You Like It from 2006 often goes overlooked.

4. Derailed

Perhaps it’s because the thriller starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston wasn’t all that memorable to begin with, but we definitely didn’t register Oyelowo pulling up in the picture as a police officer. We were already trying to wrap our heads around the fact that this was like Fatal Attraction, except for the crazy one-night stand it was a crazy third party voyeur of the one-night stand.

3. The Help

Oyelowo reunited with his As You Like It co-star Bryce Dallas Howard on the Oscar-winning The Help (Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress in 2012). Trust us, he’s there. If you look closely during those church scenes, you’ll find him playing Preacher Green, the man who helps inspire the maids in his congregation to reveal the injustices. But be careful not to blink or you might miss him.

2. Lincoln

By Oscar time, the only names anyone associated with Lincoln were Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field. All three were up for Oscars, and Lewis won Best Actor for his role as America’s 16th President, but Oyelowo kept up alongside them as Corporal Ira Clark. It’s funny to listen to the speech he gives Lincoln about the future of the civil rights movement, alluding to Martin Luther King.

1. Jack Reacher

“We don’t find this guy unless he wants to be found.” This line was one of the more memorable ones from the Tom Cruise action flick, and we totally forgot that the future Selma star was the one who said it. It happens. Hey, we pretty much all forgot everyone else in the Mission: Impossible movies or who that rocker women was in Rock of Ages. (Christina Aguilera, I wanna say…)

Honorable mentions (because you should still remember these appearances, as they only recently came out): Louis Gaines in Lee Daniels’ The Butler (opposite Forest Whitaker), the high school principal in Interstellar (opposite Matthew McConaughey) and Lawrence in A Most Violent Year (opposite Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain).


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…