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David Oyelowo

The British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo has taken on the role of a lifetime playing Dr Martin Luther King in a stunning new film. But how is he coping with all the controversy and debate offscreen? 'Hollywood still has a problem with black, powerful characters in the centre of their own narrative, driving their own destiny forward. If you play a subservient character, it lies comfortably within the self-fulfilling prophecy of what it means to be black in America.' That's actor David Oyelowo, 38, who first caught our eye in TV's 'Spooks' back in the early 2000s, talking to Channel 4 News earlier this month after the powerful, challenging 'Selma' failed to win an expected groundswell of support among Oscar voters and not one single Bafta nomination. Oyelowo plays Dr Martin Luther King and 'Selma' tells of the voting-rights marches that King organised in Alabama in March 1965 from Selma to state capital Montgomery - initially in defiance of official, brutal opposition. Those marches, the backroom discussions around them and the national reaction to violent images beamed from them on TV were all key milestones in the US Civil Rights movement and writer-director Ava DuVernay recalls it all with an urgency and horror that's hard to watch. Like Oyelowo's performance, her film is fierce, challenging and immediate. We met Oxford-born Oyelowo - lucid, careful, charming - in December when his film was already making waves beyond cinemas. He and his colleagues - including producer Oprah

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Jamie Dornan

It is a flawless LA morning, the sun already high enough to fill a sixth-floor suite of the legendary Chateau Marmont hotel. Yet despite the glow streaming through the windows, Jamie Dornan seems worried. The Northern Irish actor (who is also one of the highest-paid male models in the world) has the expression of a man about to leap out of a plane. It is the first day of a press junket marathon for the movie release of 'Fifty Shades of Grey', the sure-to-be-divisive adaptation of the global erotic phenomenon. And the film's relatively unknown star senses he might be thrown to the lions. At 32, Dornan has only just begun his ascent to the A list. As a brooding serial killer in BBC crime drama 'The Fall', he established himself as an acting force to be reckoned with, but with 'Fifty Shades of Grey', Dornan has been thrust at hyperspeed into the limelight. Playing the lead character of Christian Grey, he's gone from being a torso to swoon over in the occasional Calvin Klein ad to being an icon woven for ever into the silky fabric of female fantasy. In case you've been living in an Amish village, 'Fifty Shades of Grey' is a romantic novel with lots of sex – lots of rough, masochistic sex. When it was published in 2011, it was just what the reading public had been breathlessly waiting for. With the book garnering legions of fans, the movie has been hotly debated. And under the unexpected direction of artist Sam Taylor-Johnson, it's predicted to be either sheer genius or pure junk.

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Jack O’Connell

With a starring role in Angelina Jolie’s new World War II epic on the horizon, Jack O’Connell’s transition from ‘that kid from “Skins”’ to leading man is complete First there was Dev Patel. Then Nicholas Hoult and Kaya Scodelario. Now, the latest member of the ‘Skins’ cast to have their Hollywood moment is Jack O’Connell, picked by Angelina Jolie to star in her second film as a director, ‘Unbroken’. After considering thousands of potential leads, she cast the 24-year-old from Derby to play Louis Zamperini, the Olympic runner and WWII hero, who was stranded for 47 days at sea in a rubber raft after being tortured in Japanese prison camps. Why did Jolie cast O’Connell? Watch him in ferocious new Belfast-set drama ‘’71’ and you’ll get it. He is electrifying as a young English squaddie trapped in IRA stronghold after a riot. Following his starmaking turn in ‘Starred Up’, it’s another authentic, go-for-broke performance in a brilliant film. In ‘’71’ you play a soldier at the peak of his physical condition. What was the biggest challenge making the film? ‘Endurance. It was long hours and tough conditions. We were shooting nights and it was low budget, so we didn’t really have much back-up. I buggered my lungs making it. I had a bad chest infection that I had to work through. But I knew we were doing something that could depict war properly, that wasn’t glorifying it or turning it into some generic war movie, so it was worth it.’ You were working with a first-time film director, Yan

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Ben Whishaw

From a furry bear in ‘Paddington’ to Freddie Mercury in a new biopic, Ben Whishaw’s roles keep getting wilder. But he’s happiest out of the limelight The week I meet Ben Whishaw, every media source from here to darkest Peru is shouting about the news that he’s set to play Paddington Bear. In a forthcoming film from Harry Potter producer David Heyman, he’ll be taking on a voice role surrendered by Colin Firth (who has left the film due to the ‘maturity’ of his voice). Whishaw will have no such problem – he speaks in a choirboy’s alto when he greets me politely, if with trepidation, at his publicist’s office in Victoria.He’s famously and obviously uncomfortable in interviews – apparently he struggles with the ‘famous actor’ role far more than he ever did with Hamlet or Sebastian Flyte. But behind his hesitancy is an earnestness to answer honestly and thoughtfully (although he’d probably rather not answer at all).All considered, he’s the perfect human to portray an assiduously polite bear. And being a slip of a thing with Bambi eyes, he eases naturally into the role of a young mourner in new British indie flick ‘Lilting’, delicately attempting to establish a relationship with the mother of his deceased boyfriend. It’s a typically sensitive performance, and he was the first and only choice for the character, according to director Hong Khaou.But his roles haven’t always been so in tune with his disposition – as well as starring as several rock stars, he shone as an i-Generation Q

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Woody Allen

After a difficult year, the director talks about his new film ‘Magic in the Moonlight’, why he doesn’t read critics – and, well, about the end of the universe This year has been an eventful one for Woody Allen. The 78-year-old New Yorker’s last film, ‘Blue Jasmine’, won Cate Blanchett an Oscar in March. Since then, Allen has finished another movie, ‘Magic in the Moonlight’, with Colin Firth and Emma Stone, and shot yet another one, a still-untitled murder mystery again starring Stone, this time alongside Joaquin Phoenix.But away from the cinema, Allen has been in the headlines for other, darker reasons. In February he went public to deny allegations that he abused his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow in the 1990s. Allen says that the denial he wrote in the New York Times will be his final word on the matter. As such, the subject was off the table when we met in Paris last month.Instead, talk swirled around ‘Magic in the Moonlight’. Set in the 1920s, this thoughtful, light romance stars Firth as Stanley, a magician who travels to the south of France to prove that a psychic, Sophie (Stone), who has wormed her way into the lives of a wealthy family, is a fake. It’s a gentle, short story of a film, a sun-drenched yarn that riffs breezily on ideas that have long obsessed Allen, not least the eternal battle between love and reason, head and heart.Dressed in his Woody Allen uniform – beige shirt, beige trousers, brown shoes – he was amused and amusing company, even when t

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Richard Ayoade

The super-geek with the toilet-brush hair in ‘The IT Crowd’ and the man behind the indie hit ‘Submarine’ is back directing with ‘The Double’ 1. He doesn’t think directing is that important Critics are raving about ‘The Double’. But Ayoade talks down his bit. ‘Even if you don’t turn up, it will still get made. Once everyone’s shown up, something’s going to happen. So if you get hit by a truck that morning, they’ll film something. It will go on regardless. Actors are the main component in a film.’ Watch ‘The Double’ trailer Latest film interviews Andy Serkis As the actor monkeys around in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’, he talks chimps, ‘Star Wars VII’ and playing Hitler Few actors have done more to revolutionise filmmaking than Andy Serkis, the unseen star of apocalyptic blockbuster ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’. Wearing a ludicrous green Lycra ‘performance capture’ suit (basically a high tech leotard), Serkis has no qualms about wriggling around as Gollum in ‘Lord of the Rings’, or chestbeating in ‘King Kong’. Rather than view it as a sideline to ‘proper’ acting, the 50-year-old north Londoner has become the king of performance capture technology, where an actor’s movements are digitally recorded and translated into a computer image. He’s even opened a dedicated studio in Ealing, the Imaginarium, where he’ll direct ‘The Jungle Book’. His turn as chimp leader Caesar in the new ‘Apes’ was shot in performance capture. It’s a breathtaking example of technology and Serkis’s

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Andy Serkis

As the actor monkeys around in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’, he talks chimps, ‘Star Wars VII’ and playing Hitler Few actors have done more to revolutionise filmmaking than Andy Serkis, the unseen star of apocalyptic blockbuster ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’. Wearing a ludicrous green Lycra ‘performance capture’ suit (basically a high tech leotard), Serkis has no qualms about wriggling around as Gollum in ‘Lord of the Rings’, or chestbeating in ‘King Kong’. Rather than view it as a sideline to ‘proper’ acting, the 50-year-old north Londoner has become the king of performance capture technology, where an actor’s movements are digitally recorded and translated into a computer image. He’s even opened a dedicated studio in Ealing, the Imaginarium, where he’ll direct ‘The Jungle Book’. His turn as chimp leader Caesar in the new ‘Apes’ was shot in performance capture. It’s a breathtaking example of technology and Serkis’s raw and powerful acting – even if you can’t see his face.Is performance capture your life’s work? ‘I’ve championed the technology because I really believe in it. It’s the most liberating tool for an actor. It enables you to play anything, regardless of shape, colour or sex. I wouldn’t say it’s everything, but it’s a massive chunk of my life.’ You’ve been doing it for years, but are there still times when you feel ridiculous in the Lycra suit? ‘Yes! There’s a scene in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” where 2,000 apes march down to the human colony. We shot it

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Keira Knightley

The ‘Begin Again’ actress talks Hollywood, feminism and watching football on the floor This film feels like a change. No spanking. No throwing yourself in front of a train. Were you in the mood for something less brittle? ‘Yes, I’d got to the end of a whole period of very, very dark stuff. I wanted something with hope in it. No more neuroses! But the thing is, I like them brittle. I like playing awkward women that I wouldn’t necessarily like. I want to get into their heads.’ You play a singer-songwriter who records an album on the streets of New York. Did anyone mistake you for a busker? ‘Yes. But it’s New York. It’s a very cool city. So they don’t really pay you much attention, unless you’re in the way. In which case they go: “Get off the fucking sidewalk. I’m walking here.”’ You actually sing on the soundtrack. Do you rate your voice? ‘It is what it is. The problem is that when I open my mouth I want Shirley Bassey to come out. So it’s always a disappointment. The whole thing was nerve-wracking. I know a lot of singers. I’m married to a musician.’ Your character Greta has a mid-twenties crisis. How can you relate to that? Your career was pretty sorted when you were 25. ‘I think everyone has that. I’m constantly in a state of questioning career-wise. What kind of role should I do next? What am I looking for? Dustin Hoffman talked about going to therapy because he couldn’t choose his next role. I can understand that! And I have so many friends who are in their mid-twenties,

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Jonathan Glazer

The director’s new film ‘Under the Skin’ imagines a beautiful alien landing in Scotland. He tells us how he got Scarlett Johansson talking with Glaswegians It’s taken 48-year-old British writer-director Jonathan Glazer nine years to complete his new movie, ‘Under the Skin’, an adaptation of the novel by Michel Faber. Something of a left turn for the director of ‘Sexy Beast’ and ‘Birth’, the film follows a sultry alien, played by Scarlett Johansson, as she prowls the streets of Glasgow on the hunt for human prey. Luckily Glazer’s years have not been wasted: the film is a quiet miracle, at once freakish and sensual, disturbing and sad, and utterly indescribable.‘Under the Skin’ is so hard to label. Do you like that people are going to try to explain it to their friends and fail horribly?‘If they say, “I couldn’t tell you what the fuck it was about, but you’ve got to see it,” I’d be very happy with that!’You first planned to cast a newcomer as the alien but then decided on a big star to help raise the money. Did you ever regret it?‘I don’t regret it at all. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever been encouraged to make! But it forced me to look at things differently. I think a lot of directors get a star in their film and that’s the end point. Actually, it’s the starting point. What do I do with that movie star? How do I use her familiarity to the advantage of the story? Preparing Scarlett for this role was the equivalent of an alien entity preparing to come to Earth: working

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Andrew Garfield

The bouncy Brit actor behind the mask in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ has done some serious thinking about his character – even comparing him to the Son of God © Paola KudackiIn 2012, on the eve of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ opening in cinemas, Andrew Garfield looked like a kid about to have root-canal surgery. Which is less enthusiasm than you’d expect from an actor on the brink of becoming the superstar face of a Hollywood mega-franchise. It turns out Garfield was seriously freaked out by all the attention: the life-changing, no-going-back-ness of being famous.Two years later, squeezing back into costume for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’, the actor from Surrey is as protective of his privacy as ever – he’s still not answering questions about his real-life girlfriend Emma Stone (who plays Peter Parker’s ladylove Gwen Stacy in the series). But this time he’s relaxed and smiling. Now 30 (‘Am I a young man still? Or can I just say “man”?’), he seems to have shed a little of the self-doubt and has mellowed, though he still brings that jumpy-little-brother energy to Spidey.‘I actually had more confidence for the second film because Spider-Man is more confident,’ he says thoughtfully. ‘When Peter puts on the spandex he gets to save people’s lives. When he’s just Peter, he’s got to deal with just being Peter. It’s the same with me. When I’m not being creative and acting, I have to deal with myself and I go a bit crazy.’As for fame, Garfield is just glad it came in his late twenties. ‘If I

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