By Adrian Ernesto Cepeda:
Trying to think of the best way to spend Martin Luther King Jr. Day? More than just another day off, we couldn’t think of a better way to spend this national holiday taking the family to go see Ava DuVernay’s cinematic Civil Rights masterpiece Selma. Three friends of Word Theatre®, Lorraine Toussaint, Omar Dorsey and Colman Domingo all-star in this riveting historical drama which one a Golden Globe Award for best song by Common and John Legend.
Can you believe that Colman Domingo turned down the role of Reverend Ralph Abernathy twice before finally convinced by his friend David Oyelowo, the star who played Dr. King, to join Selma. Colman talked to The Advocate about what his personally brought to his role in Selma when he said, “What my community asks of me, what the world asks of me, is to be useful and to use my gifts, and to hopefully shine a light on something which hasn’t been said, or to write something I feel needs to be added to the experiences not only of African-Americans, but of humans and human nature.”
Lorainne Toussaint also shared her experiences of filming Selma as she eloquently explained to collider.com, “We actors are superstitious creatures. We do all the homework and we put all of the components together, but there’s always one key aspect that we’re not in charge of, really, and that’s magic. You are always on the lookout for where and how that magic is going to ignite. When you have worked as much as I have and have sought it out as often as I do, you get very clear that it will come at very, very odd, unexpected moments. My job is to be on a constant state of alert for when it does show up. It’s never not shown up, but it does show up in odd ways. When you’re playing a real character, you want to honor that person and receive inspiration from that person. They need to anoint you in some way that allows you to borrow just a small piece of their soul. That is the flame.”
Omar Dorsey who played James Orange in Selma told Off The Cuff podcast, “This film is coming out at an important time. Sometimes a time dictates what a film will be. Sometimes a film dictates what the time will be. This is something that’s coming together.”
Toussaint agreed as she said “It’s hard to not be aware of this moment in history, but you can’t play history and you can’t play historical characters. You just have to reduce it to the ordinary. The ordinary is ultimately what moves us most deeply. It’s what touches us, and it’s what we most recognize, in great moments of art.
Word Theatre® urges everyone to rush to a theater near you and watch this moving masterpiece; we couldn’t think of a better way to spend this Martin Luther King Day than watching Selma. Get ready to be moved, amazed and entertained all in the honor of one of American’s greatest Civil Rights heroes. Go see what critics and fans alike agree Ava DuVernay’s Selma is a powerhouse of a film that must be experienced.