When the black actors in “Middle of Nowhere” read the film’s script, they were shocked to find they could actually relate to the characters.
Director Ava DuVernay’s depiction of a Compton woman struggling while her husband is incarcerated resonated with her cast of actors.
Before joining the cast, actor David Oyelowo had been shooting “Lincoln,” in which he plays Union Army soldier Ira Clark. He said “Middle of Nowhere” delves deeper into black people’s lives in a way that emphasizes normality.
He hinted that, while he was grateful to see black characters depicted in the Civil War-set Steven Spielberg film, the characters seemed to be an afterthought compared to the movie’s light-skinned titans, particularly when compared to “Middle of Nowhere.”
“You don’t see the people suffering under the weight of not having the 13th Amendment — there’s only so much you can do in two hours — and that’s the movie,” he said. “In ‘Lincoln,’ the roles you see: A butler, you see [Mary Lincoln actress] Sally Field’s handmaiden, so to speak, and you see me, myself, a soldier fighting for his country.”
“Middle of Nowhere” stars Emayatzy Corinealdi (above), a relative unknown in Hollywood, as Ruby. When her husband is jailed for gun smuggling, Ruby is forced to drop out of medical school to pay his legal fees. After he is denied parole, she finds herself on an existential journey trying to piece together a life for herself while maintaining her relationship with her incarcerated husband.
Read more: The Wrap